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Fort Sumter and the Adjacent Islands. 



FoBifEKLY Major of Emqinkbrs in th£ Sksvicb of thb Confkoebatb Statba 



3 AND 5 BBOAD AMD 117 EaST BaY STltB£T9. 



Copyrighted 1689, 

(All nights Reserved.) 

AVestcott a Thomsox, 
Stt^'eof^/pers (iHd-JCifCtroyperSf Philada. 


Ix the war between the States, while the long defense of Charleston, 
8outh Carolina, was progressing under my command against a formidable 
attack by land and sea, and with then unprecedented appliances of war- 
fare, it became evident to me that a well-prepared and authentic history 
of the operations was due as well to the brave forces of the South 
engaged as to the claims of military study and experience everywhere. 

Accordingly, I issued the specfal order printed below, making pro- 
vision for the need. It gives me pleasure now to find that such a history 
has, at length, been written by one of the oflScers originally appointed, 
whose work has been accepted and approved by two other members of 
the same board, as well as examined in part by myself. They unite 
with me in introducing and recommending it to the public. 

G. T. Beauregard. 

New Orleans, La., Jan. 7, 1890. 


Charleston, S. C, April l!i, ISG-I. 
* * * * « 


Ertrnet "^ A Board to consist of five (5) members will assemble 

Sptcinl OrdrrB V in Charleston, S. C, on the 20th day of April, 18G4, or as 

No. 109, IV. j g^Qj, thereafter as practicable, for the purpose of compiling 

a military history of the siege of Charleston, S. C, to commence with 

the date of the naval attack on Fort Sumter, April 7, 1863. 

The following are appointed members of the Board: Hon. Pierre 
Soul^, Vol. A. D. C, President ; Major W. S. Basinger, Arty. P. A. C. S. ;> 
Captain John Johnson, Engineers ; Lieutenant John R. Key, Engineers, 
draughtsman.' Captain H. W. Feilden, A. A. General, will, in addition 
to his present duties, act as Recorder for the Board, and if necessary may 
employ a competent clerk as an assistant. 

' This dcsignAtion of Major Dasingcr was orroncous. lie tras tbo commander of 
tbc Savannah Volunteer Guard?, a volunteer curpB of Savannah, Ga., trbich bad 
been mu^te^cd into tbo Fcrvicc of tbc Confodcrato Sfatos " for tbo war," and was 
|-no«rn in the service as tbc Elgbtccntb Georgia battalion. J. J. 



Captain Johnson will continue to supervise the defense of Fort Sumter, 
but will leave an assistant in immediate charge of that work. He will 
be furnished by the chief engineer with a boat and crew, that he may 
visit the fort whenever necessary. 
By command of General Beauregard. 

H. Wemyss Feilden, 

Capt, A. A. C, 

The course of events immediately following the issue of the foregoing 
order of General Beauregard causing the dispersion of the officers com- 
posing the Board to distant parts of the Confederate States, and result- 
ing in the fall and dissolution of the Confederacy, made impossible the 
execution of the order by the Board as a whole, and appeared to defeat 
the design of the general to preserve an authentic and detailed account, 
from our side, of the defense of Charleston, so honorable to the Confed- 
erate arms. 

But that which the Board, as a whole, was thus prevented from doing 
has been done by Captain (afterward Major) Johnson, one of the Board, 
in his history of The Defense of Charleston Harbor^ which is about to be 
given to the public. Nor is there any occasion for regret in the fact that 
Major Johnson has prepared this history without the aid of any of his 
colleagues. For it must be said that if the Board, as a whole, had had 
opportunity to attempt the duty assigned them, the laboring oar would 
inevitably have fallen to him. Passing by his other eminent qualifica- 
tions for the task — ^any comment upon which in this place would, I am 
sure, be displeasing to him — his intimate connection with the defense as 
an engineer officer, and his special charge at Fort Sumter, which became, 
almost from the first, the main point of attack and defense, afforded him 
a knowledge and comprehension of details possessed by no other mem- 
ber of the Board. If, in addition to these considerations, it is borne in 
mind that his residence in Charleston since the war has tended to keep 
fresh in his mind familiarity with localities, and has afforded him access 
to many original sources of information, the inference is easy that aid 
from his colleagues would have been a hindrance to him rather than a 

I have had the privilege of a hasty glance through Major Johnson's 
manuscript, and if approval from me is worth anything, I confidently 
commend his work as in the highest degree interesting, not only to those 
who took part in the scenes he describes and to all adherents of the Con- 
federacy, but to all students of the military art. 

Wm. S. Basixger, 
Formerly Major Comdg, Sav, Vol. Guards, 18th Qa. Battalion, 

Dahloxega, Oa., } 

. Jan. 22, 1890. f 


Though five-and-twenty years have elapsed since the close of the 
operations around the city of Charleston, the lessons to be derived 
from their study are as important as ever. We find a large commercial 
city, at the commencement of a great war defended by nearly obsolete 
works and with several unguarded approaches, rendered impregnable in 
a short time by the skill and genius of the general in command, sup- 
ported by the indomitable valor, devotion, and tenacity of its defenders, 
and by the unflinching spirit of all ages and both sexes in the com- 
munity. ... I am glad to think that it has fallen to the lot of an active 
participator, and one of my comrades in the war of the Confederacy, to 
be the historian of those stirring events. 

H. W. Feilden, 
Colonel atid Chief Paymaster (retired list), B. B, M, Army, 

Wbst Housb, 
WalU, Norfolk, England, 

Jan. 4, 1890. 



Tho fact of this work's entering on a second edition, 
within six months of its appearance before the public, has 
been a gratifying surprise to the author. Time sufficient has 
been afforded to make a few unimportant corrections called 
for in the text, serving as exceptions to prove the general rule 
of its accuracy; while opinions upon it have come in from 
both sides, emphasizing its possession of that impartiality 
which is so essential in history, and rewarding the writer 
himself by their spontaneous expression. 

This is a favorable opportunity for me to supply an 
omission in the Calendar of the Appendix, viz: "April 6th, 
(1863.) The Confederate transport, 'Marion' sunk by tor- 
pedoes while placing them in Ashley River." Also to state, 
that the finding of the *fish' torpedo boat, alongside of the 
wreck of her victim, the U. S, sloop of war ^'Housatonic" is 
not a certified fact. The captured gunboat, "Isaac Smith" 
afterwards called the *'Stono,'* by the Confederates, was lost 
in attempting to run the blockade. In the attack on the 
Pawnee and Marblehead, gunboats in Stono River, July IG, 
1863, there were engaged four rifle guns of the siege-train, 
(Palmetto Guards) Capt. B. C. Webb, besides the artillery 
mentioned on page 97 of this work. The names *Tutnara" 
and '^Strong." on page 168, should be transposed. The 
average range of all (Union) batteries at the reduction of 
Fort Pulaski, Ga. was 2.559 yards, though the actual breach- 
ing was done at 1,700 yards. J. J. 

Charleston, S. C, December 4, 1890. 


• The military operations by land and water before Charleston, 
South Carolina, especially from the spring of 1863 to the close 
of the Civil War in 1865, engaged the attention of the world to 
a more than ordinarj*^ degree. They were characterized by an 
attack involving two novel elements in warfare — viz. the use 
of armored vessels and of breaching rifles — ^and by a defense 
peculiar in respect of harbor obstruction with torpedo devices, 
active and passive. But the defense was also conducted with 
other and older elements of warfare, such as historians never 
tire of recording — viz. prolonged resistance and large measure 
of success. A contemporary writer in the French Journal of 
Military Science testified as follows: "Prodigies of talent, 
audacity, intrepidity, and perseverance are exhibited in the 
attack, as in the defense of this city, which will assign to the 
siege of Charleston an exceptional place in military annals." 
The most recent military opinion upon these operations from an 
eminent foreign source is equally favorable to their great im- 
portance. Viscount Wolseley, adjutant-general of the British 
army, in reviewing one of the latest collections of historical 
papers covering the whole period, writes as follows : " Were 
I bound to select out of all four volumes the set of paj>ers which 
appears of most importance at the present moment, not only 
from an American but also from a European point of view, 
I should certainly name those which describe the operations at 
Charleston." (North American ttemeWy November, 1889.) And 
if further evidence were wanted, Mr. Welles, Secretary of the 
U- S. Navy, pays the Charleston of Confederate times the highest 
tribute when in his annual report for 1865 he speaks of it as 



having been tlie " most invulnerable and best-protected city on 
the coast, whose defenses had cost immense treasure and labor." 

Fort Sumter was for a long time the citadel of Charleston 
harbor, and, having for its advanced work Battery Wagner on 
Morris Island, was the special object of attack. The fort, after 
being silenced and demolished, was transformed and re-armed 
under fire ; it was then held for twelve montlis longer, until the 
whole coast of South Carolina was abandoned near the .end of 
the war. It was never surrendered. The battery after a siege 
of fifty-eight days was successfully evacuated, and fell into the 
hands of the enemy. An English military critic in St. PauTa 
Magazine rates the defense of Fort Sumter as " eclipsing such 
famous passages of history as Sale's defense of Jellalabad against 
the Afghans or Havelock's obdurate tenure of the residency 
at Lucknow." And one of the most competent military authori- 
ties in America claims that it is but history " to say that the 
defense of Fort Sumter and that of Wagner are feats of war 
unsurpassed in ancient or modern times." 

It was my privilege, as engineer-in-charge, to share with the 
officers and men of the garrison of Fort Sumter for fifteen of 
its most eventful months the arduous service of the post. And 
I may well feel it to be now my duty to record the story of their 
gallantry and endurance under the watchful eyes and skilful 
direction of superiors in command of the military district and 
department. This duty, onc« actually laid upon me, in con- 
junction with others, by a special order from General Beaure- 
gard, I have^ endeavored to perform to the best of my ability : 
certainly, both time and labor have been bestowed upon this 
work, and where defects are found it will not he because they 
have not been carefully searched for by the author himself. The 
constant aim has been to write a history which will be deemed 
worthy of its subject, without either falling into the dryness- of 
the chronicler or lavishing on persons and things the superlatives 
of the war-correspondent. 

Having preserved all my private notes, sketches, and diary, 
together witli the engineer's official journal from July 20 to 
September 2, 1863, and ray reports made dlmost daily to the 
chief engineer, and having also been aided by the authoritative 


materials for history printed sinw the war, I have had the satis- 
faction of writing what is as nearly an official narrative in point 
of accuracy and fulness of particulars as could be desii'ed. The 
published authorities which have been collected for this history 
are here enumerated : 

Armored Vessels (Official Reports and Correspondence), being 
Exec. Doc. No. 69, Washington, 1864. 

Reports published by Confederate Congress, Richmond, 1864. 

Report and Documents, Major-Greneral Q. A. Gillmore, New 
York, 1865. 

Supplementary Papers (Gillmore), New York, 1868. 

Reports of U. S. Navy Department for 1862, '63, '64, '65. 
Charleston City papers for the same years. 

RebelUon Recm-d (Putnam), 1865. 

Siege of Savannah, Col. C. C. Jones, 1874. 

Southern Historical Society Papers, Richmond, 1876. 

Afloai and Ashore (Cowley), Lowell, 1879. 

Annals of the War (Times Publishing Company), Philadelphia, 

Memoir of Rear- Admiral Dahlgren (with Diary), Boston, 1882. 

Military Operations of Gen. Beauregard (Roman), New York, 

Officinal War Records, Series 1, vols, i., vi., xiv., xxviii., Wash- 
ington, D. C. 

Charleston Year-Books, 1883, '84, '85. 

History of the lO^th Pennsylvania Regiment, W. W. H. Davis, 

The post^books of Colonel Rhett, commanding Fort Sumter, 
were used in writing uj) my journal of the first bombardment in 
August, 1863, but they have since been lost. The post-books 
of Major Elliott, who next succeeded to the command, are in 
good preser\'ation and have been used by me. The post-books 
of Captains Mitchel and Huguenin, last in command of the fort, 
are believed to have been lost, but many of their despatches have 
been found in Washington, and Captain Huguenin has kindly 
contributed to the Appendix an original journal of the last 
severe days and nights of Battery Wagner, also a memoir, at 
request, for my guidance in narrating the closing events of the 


evacuation of Fort Sumter and Charleston harbor. Through 
the courtesy of officers in charge of the War-Recoi'ds Office at 
Washington, copies were obtained from the unpublished Union 
reports of operations on Morris Island rendered by Brigadier- 
Generals T. Seymour and G. C. Strong (1863), and by Miijor- 
General J. G. Foster, commanding the Department of the Soiitli 
1864-65. My thanks are due also to General Beauregard, Hon. 
W. A. Courtenay, ex-mayor of Charleston, Mr. J. Vaughan 
Merrick, naval constructor, of Philadelphia, to the "Century 
Company," and to many others for correspondence and assistance. 

Charleston, S. C, December 1, 18S9. 




Pbelimikaby Facts and Events 15 

The Bepuuse of the Iron-clad Squadron 40 

The Recovery of the Guns of the Keokuk 62 


Descent op the Union Army on Morris Island — First As- 
sault of Battery Wagner 76 


Seconi> Assault of Battery Wagner— Fort Sumter Threat- 
ened 99 

First Great Bombardment of Fort Sumter— First Period 115 

First Great Bombardment of Fort Sumter— Second Period 133 


Morris Island Evacuated— Fort Moultrie Attacked— 
Fort Sumter Assaulted 145 


The Second Great Bombardment of Fort Sumter 165 





Explosion of Magazine and Fire in Fobt Sumteb .... 186 


Fort Johnson Attacked— Fort Sumter's Third Great Bom- 
bardment • . . . 208 


End op Third Great Bombardment—Evacuation of Savan- 
nah 229 

Evacuation op Charleston Harbob 244 

Resume and Conclusion 260 


Appendix A. 
Calendab of Events, 1861-66 i 

Appendix B. 
The Steam-fbigate New Ibonsides xxi 

Appendix C. 
Notes of Ibon-clad Wabfabe xxxvi 

Appendix D. 

Memoir of Colonel (Brigadier-General) Harris, Chief 

Engineer xlii 

Appendix E. 
Strategic Value of Morris Island xlv 

Appendix F. 

Reports (Union and Confederate), Correspondence, De- 
spatches, JOURNAIIS, ETC. ETC. . 1 



Portrait of Qenrral Beauregard 17 

pl.an8 and sections of fort sumter (1862) 19 

Map of Coast of South Carolina 24 

PxAN OF Fort Lamar (Secebsionville) 27 

Plan, £i.evation, and Section of Confederate Iron-clad Ram . 33,34 

Portrait of Rear- Admiral S. F. Dufont 40 

IRON-C1.AD Frigate New Ironsides 42 

The Monitor Pasbaic 47 

Tbaksverse Section op Turret and Pilot-house 48 

Portrait OF Colonel A. Rhett 49 

Shot-marks on Two Faces of Fort Sumter 57 

Portrait OF Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley 64 

Pi^N of Battery (Fort) Wagner 89 

Portrait of Brigadier- (Major-) General Q. A. Gillmore .... 96 

Portrait op Colonel D. B. Harri.s, Chief Engineer 105 

Penetration op Breaching Rifle-shell (Fort Sumter) 117 

Pkxetration op a Fuze-plug at Fort Sumter 126 

Portrait of Major (Brigadier-General) S. Elliott 156 


Portrait of Captain F. H. Harlebton 178 

Fort Sumter: Interior of Eastern Half op Gorge 181 

Fort Sumter: Interior of Eastern Angle and Sea-face . . . .183 

Fort Sumter's Flag (Jan. 29, 1864) 186 

FortSusctes: View of Interior, December, 1863 188 




Fort Suhter : Exterior ok " Three-gun Battery " 203 

Fort Sumter's Flag (Feb. 2, 18(>4) 207 

Fort Sumter : Replacing the Fla(» 213 

Fort Johnson, James Island . 217 

Fort Pringle, James Island 221 

Portrait op Captain J. C. Mitchel -223 

Portrait of Captain T. A. Huguenin .... 230 

Fort Sumter : Head-Quarters Casemate 241 

•* " Interior of the Gorge 253 

" Exterior of the Gorge and City Front 255 

" " Interior OF Sea-face AND Eastern Angle 258 


Plates I., II., III., IV., Torpedoes (Harbor). 
Plates V., VI., VII., Obstructions (Harbor). 
Plate VIIL Elevations and Sections, Torpedo-boat David. 

" IX. Map of Morris Island. 

*' X. Map of Charleston Harbor. 

" XI. Fortifications Sullivan's Island. 

•' XII. Plans of Fort Sumter (as evacuated). 

" XIII. Sections of Fort Sumter (as evacuated). 






A Description of Charleston Harbor— Its Surrounding Islands and 
Shores — The Approach by Stono River— Detailed Di-scRipnoN 
OF Fort Sumter— Its Site. Plan, and Construction— Occupation 
BY THE Confederates in April, 1861— Repairs and Improvements- 
Port Moultrie's Site, Plan, and Construction- Other Works on 
Sui-i-iVAN*s Island— Fort Ripley— Castle Pinckney— Fort John- 
goN — Fortifications OF James Island— Morris Island and its De- 
fenses, Battery Wagner and Battery Gregg— Chief Events in 
Military Operations before Charlpston, and on the Coast Ad- 
jacent to it, from December, 1860, to the Spring of 1863 — Cap- 
ture OF Port Royal Entrance and Broad River by the Union 
Fxeet — Repulse op Union Forces at Sfx:essionville — Actions at 
PocoTALiGO — Capture of Union Gunboat Isaac Smith— Attack on 
Blockading Squadron off Charleston by two Confederate Iron- 
clad Rams— Harbor Obstruction?*, Piling, Booms, and Rope-net- 
tixgs— Spar-torpedoes and Torpedo-ram— The Boiler-torpedo — 
Confederate Iron-clad Rams— Military Strength and Organi- 
zation of the Department and Districts — The First Military 
District — Garrisons and Armaments of Forts and Batteries 
April 1, 1863. 

It may be disappointing to some that this history does not 
cover the space of time between the outbreak of the war and 
the spring of the year 18G3. It may be thought that the prom- 
inence of Charleston harbor, and particularly of Fort Sumter, 



during that first period of the great struggle was too great to be 
lightly disregarded in a work of this kind. But the limitation 
Jias. simply been.d Necessity with the author. 
•Mbreovtf, ^B'e' period in question has been already treated 
; with •/dkieSS: and afbilitV bv two military writers/ and to their 
* *^brk& 're!erehc6^ should be made for the histoiy of that exciting 
time when, by the surrender of Major Robe'rt Anderson in com- 
mand of Fort Sumter, the control of Charleston harbor passe^l 
into the hands of the Confederates. 

But in order to afford some information introductory to what 
follows in this volume, a few pages will be devoted to (1) a 
description of Charleston harbor, its surrounding islands, and 
the fortifications held by its defenders ; (2) the chief military 
operations of 1861, '62, '63, which preceded the next chapter; 
and (3) the condition of the defenses immediately before tlie 
memorable action with the iron-clad squadron. 

Charleston, the chief city and port of South Carolina, is built 
on a peninsula between the Cooper and the Ashley Rivers. They 
unite and widen into a capacious harbor lying mostly to the 
south-east of the city, bounded on the northern line by the 
main land and on the southern by James Island. This large 
island is accessible from the sea on the opi>osite side also, 
through Stono Inlet and River, a deep estuary dividing it from 
John's Island on the south, and admitting vessels to the rear of 
Charleston. Between Stono Inlet and the entrance of the har- 
bor, a distance of twelve miles, there are two long, low, narrow-, 
and sandy sea-islands — Folly Island and Morris Island — fsep- 
arated by a narrow inlet from each other, and by impracticable 
marshes, about two miles wide, from James Island, inside of 
them. Morris Island is nearly four miles long, its northern ex- 
tremity, Cumming's Point, being the seaward limit of Charleston 
harbor on the south, as Sullivan's Island, near Fort Moultrie, is 
the limit on the north. These two points determine the entrance 
to the harbor, and are 2700 yards apart. 

Sullivan's Island is of about the same length as Morris Island, 

* Military Operation* of Oeneraf Beauregard (Roman), vol. i. ; Genesis of the 
avU War, by Major-General S. W. Crawford, U. S. A. 

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• • •• 



General G. T. BEAUKEGARD, P. A. C. S. 

Commanding Department So. Ca., Georgia and Florida, 1862-64. 

From a Photograph. 

Entered U. S. Mil. Acad, from Lousiana— Graduated i838.--2nd Lieut. Corprs 

of Engineers. Brevet Capi. and Maj in Mexican War. 

Re<iigned from U. S. A., February, 1861. 


having its western extremity farther inside the harbur than Cum- 
ming's P*>int, and its eastern extremity contiguous to Long 
Island^ As on the other side of the harbor, impracticable 
Dian^hes, of two miles in width, separate the sea-islands from 
the main land. 

Fort Sumter, built upon a shoal and rising straight out of 
the water on its own island of artificial rock formation, is sit- 
uated somewhat within the entrance to the harbor, and nearly 
equidistant from its opposite shores. Between the fort and the 
chores of Morris and James Islands there is only shallow water, 
unfit for navigation. The main channel is very deep between 
the fort and Sullivan's Island, takes a square turn to the south 
iibout a thousand yards east of Fort Sumter, continues straight 
axlong the shore of Morris Island, and is confined by the sub- 
mergeil bar on the ocean's side until near the southern end of 
the island, where it turns sharply to the east, crosses the bar 
%vith eighteen feet of water, and conducts at length into the 
cK^ean at a distance of eleven miles from the city of Charleston. 
The following notes of distance will be found useful : 

p*roin Fort Sumtep to the East-Bay Battery of Charleston . . (5000 yds. (3 J m.) 
F*roin Fort Sumter to Fort Johnson, James Island .... 2300 yds. (Ij m.) 
From Fort Sumter to Cumming^s Point, Morris Island . . . 1400 yds. ( J ni.) 

Fn>m Fort Sum ter to Battery Wagner liTOO yds. (Ij m.) 

From Fort Sumter to Fort Moultrie, Sullivan's Island . . . 1800 yds. (1 m.) 

Fort Sumter, so named after General Thomas Sumter, one of 
&>uth Carolina's partisan officers in the War of Independence, 
was begim by the United States Govermnent in 1829, and was 
nearly completed when occupied by Major Anderson in Decem- 
lx»r, 1860. Ten years appear to have Ix^ai spent in raisino; its 
foundations above water. It was planned for a clo.sed work of 
nia.sonry, having five faces, with truncated angles, two tiers of 
guns in casemate and one in barbette. L<K)ked at with a bird's- 
eye view, its symmetrical ground-plan would remind one of the 
fjable-end of a plain house. The main salient of the bastion 
pointed northwartl ; the two faces adjacent wore each about 200 
feet in length ; the two flanks, east and west, were also about 200 
feet ; and the closed gorge, fortified only in barbette, was 350 



feet long. The area of the site, on exterior linejj, waj* about two 
aeres and a half: that of the interior or parade of the fort was 
an acre and a quarter. The walls rose perpendicularly on all 
five .side?5 to a uniform height forty feet above high water, but 
they varitnl in material and in thickness. The best Carolina gray 
brick laiil with mortar and cement, also a concrete of pounded 
oyster-shells and cement, and another c*omposition known as 
bUoUf wove the materials used in the several pai-ts of the .struc- 
ture. The last mentioned was the hartlest of all the materials, 
but it was used only for the embrasures : the brickwork was 
the very best of its kind and the next in power of resistance. 
The wall proper — that is to say, the scarp- wall — was five feet in 
thickness, but as it was backed by the arches and supix>rting 
piers of the casemates, " the walls " of Fort Sumter, to speak 
popularly, varied from five to ten feet in thickness. A sally- 
port, on the goi^ oj^ened upon a stone quay and landing-pier. 
This quay, extending all along the gorge, was twenty feet in 
width, and proved to be of the utmost importance in the defense 
of the fort. At the water's edge, on the other faces of the fort, 
the rock foundation rase with an easy slope, and terminated at the 
base of the jierpendicular brick scarp-wall with a ledge or berme 
ten feet in level width. This footing was both narrower and 
lower, and so more exposed to the tide and swell of the harbor^ 
than the corresponding structure on the gorge. 

As soon as Fort Sumter was occupied by the Confederate 
forces after the bombardment of April 12-13, 1861, stops were 
taken, chiefly under the immediate direction of Lieutenant-Col- 
onel (afterward Brigadier-General) R. S. Ripley, to restore and 
complete it, with little or no departure from the original plan. 
The large spaces left for embrasures on the upper casemates 
were filled in with fresh brick masonry, showing only a narrow 
loophole. But three of these casemates at the main salient were 
finished with embrasures and armed. A large traverse of con- 
crete cased with brick was built at the eastern angle of the 
ramparts to protect the barbette guns of the right face from 
enfilade by ships. The magazines, at the eastern and western 
extremities of the gorge, were strengthened by an exterior work 
of stone masonry, buttressing or reinforcing the gorge-wall 

w '-^-ii=- 


at each locality to a height of about fitleen feet. But their 
great exposure to a fire in reverse from ships lying off the 
eastern angle of the fort was not then realized or anticipated. 
Near the eastern side of the sally-port was constructed of brick 
a caponni^re mounting two casemate-howitzers for the defense 
of the quay and pier. A telegraphic connection with head- 
quarters in the city was established by the way of James Isl- 
and. An improvement devised by Lieutenant-Colonel J. A. 
Yates of the garrison enabled the men to traverse the guns 
with cranks and cog-wheels, so that their aim could be kept 
on a moving objec»t and their fire delivered with the greatest 
accuracy and rapidity. The hot-shot furnaces were restored. 
The brick barracks for soldiers' quarters on the interior of the 
eastern and western casemates were rebuilt, but with rednceil 
height. So, in part, were the officers' quarters on the gorge. 
The fort was also supplied with gas-works, a bakery, a forge, 
a fire-engine, a shoe-factory, and a machine for converting salt 
into fresh water: it had besides large cisterns for rain-water. 

An account of the garrison and armament will be given at 
the close of this chapter. 

Fort Moultrie, built in 1811 on Sullivan's Island, at the 
entrance to the harbor, near the site of the palmetto fort whicli 
repulsed the British fleet in 1776, is of irregular plan, con- 
structed of brick, "filled in with sand, presenting a battery 
of three sides on the sea-front," with brick magazine and 
barracks. Upon being oc^cupied by the Carolina troops after 
Major Anderson abandoned it for Fort Sumter, great changes 
were made in its appearance ; the low scai'p-wall was protectal 
by a ditch and glacis, traverses and merlons were construct(Hl, 
and the magazine was covered over with sand of sufficient 

Other works on Sullivan's Island were built by the Con- 
federates in 1862 — viz. Battery Bee,^ about a half mile to the 

' "Battery Bee was constructed by an accomplished engineer, Captain 
George E. Walker, who wns careful to build his works with especial refer- 
ence to the effect of modern artillery." — (Briga/Her- General Ripley^ CharU'*- 
ion Tear-Book, 18S5,) It was named after Brigadier-General Bernard Kllioit 
Tee, killed in Virginia. 


west of Fort Moultrie ; Battery Beauregard, the same distance 
to the east ; and Battery Marshall,^ at the eastern end of the 
island. These works were of great strength, made of sharp 
sand, well sodded, and furnished with excellent magazines and 
bombproof quarters. 

Fort Ripley was a small work, built in 1862 on the middle 
ground or shoal between Castle Pinckney and Fort Johnson 
and two miles inside of Fort Sumter. Its plan was four-square, 
and its construction with ballasted cribwork of heavy timber ; 
but it was deemed hardly shotproof. 

Castle Pinckney, built of brick and rough-cast, in 1810, on 
a low, marshy Island known as **Shute's Folly," was distant 
one mile from the! city. It was a complete little casemated 
work of that period, but on so small a scale and so near to 
the city as to be of little value in the defense of the harbor. 
Its casemates were disarmed, its front wall was covered with 
an exterior slope of sand, well sodded, and its ramparts fur- 
nished with merlons and traverses. 

Fort Johnson, on the harbor shore of James Island, occupied 
ground older than the site of Fort Moultrie, having been first 
built in 1704. Mortar-batteries, erected there in 1861, took 
part in the reduction of Fort Sumter. No fortification of con- 
sequence, however, was built there until the summer of 1863, 
but then, being continually enlarged and strengthened, it became 
in 1864-65 a strongly fortified camp, with a heavy battery on 
it«i harbor front. 

Against an enemy's approach from Stono there were exten- 
sive but not very strong lines in the interior of James Island 
for siege or light artillery and for infantry troops ; the right 
resting on the Stono River, near Wappoo Cut, at Fort Pem- 
herton, a large well-built work, heavily armed ; the left resting 
on the marshes of Folly River, at Secessionville, where Fort 
Umar, a lighter work than " Pemberton," but very capable, 
a* its record in 1862 proved, disputed any advance upon the 
i-'land. The outposts of James Island in this direction were 
Cole's Island and Battery Island, two small strips of sandy 
soil connected with the southern extremity by causeways and 

^Sq called in honor of Colonel J. Foster Marshall, killed in Virginia. 


fortified with guns bearing on Stono Inlet and Stono River. 
But by order of Major-Greneral J. C. Pemberton in the sprinjr 
of 1862 these islands were abandoned or only used for picket- 

The fortifications of Morris Island, which had been built for 
the reduction of Fort Sumter in April, 1861, gave place to two 
works of great importance. These were Battery Gregg, on 
Cuniming's Point, and Battery (or Fort) Wagner, about three- 
fourths of a mile farther south. The former, named after 
Brigadier-General Maxcy Gregg of South Carolina, killed at 
Fredericksburg, Va., was a work of strong relief and thick 
parapets, with magazine and bombproof, and places for three 
heavy guns to fire upon the channel and the island. 

Battery Wagner, so called after Lieutenant-Colonel Tlioma.^ 
M. Wagner of the First regiment of South Carolina (regular) 
Artiller}^, who lost his life by the bursting of a gun at Fort 
Moultrie in July, 1862, was located at a narrow part of tlu* 
island and extended across its full width. First ordereil l»y 
Major-General Pemberton, it was planned by Captain Francis 
D. Lee of the Engineers, and ground was broken in the sum- 
mer of 1862 under Assistant Engineer Langdon Clieves, who 
continued to superintend the work until completion. But the 
strengthening of it by the addition of a heavy flanking batten* 
for four guns bearing on the channel, and by closing the gorpo 
with a parapet for infantry fire, was ordered by General Beau- 
regard soon after his taking command, and accomplished early 
in the next year. Its sea-face extended about 300 feet along 
the beach, and its total of land-faces nearly 800 feet acro^ 
the island. 

Ground was broken, by order of General Beauregard, for 
the construction of batteries on the southern end of Morris 
Island as early as the first week in March, 1863, but none 
were completed when, a month later, the iron-clad squadron 
attacked Fort Sumter. 

The chief military and naval operations conducted by both 
sides on the coast of South Carolina, from the outbreak of the 
war to the spring of 1863, a space of two years, will now U* 

PRELIMINARY Facts and events. 23 

related very briefly. (For a full calendar of all the operations 
reference raust be made to Appendix A.) 

It seems hardly necessary to repeat the oft-told story of 
Major Robert Anderson's transfer of his two companies of 
Unital States artillery from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter on 
the evening of December 26, 1860.^ Hostile preparations be- 
gan in earnest from that date. But the first hostile guns were 
not fired until January 9, 1861, from Morris Island, when the 
transport-steamer Star of the West, conveying arms, supplies, 
and reinforcements (200 men) to the garrison, was forced to 
desist and go out again. 

Three months later Fort Sumter was bombarded by the forts 
and batteries of Charleston harbor, April 12th-13th, and its 
garrison surrendered by Major Anderson, afl«r a brave defense 
of thirty-three hours, to the Confederate forces under Brigadier- 
General G. T. Beauregard. Three gunboats, with a troop- 
ship sent to reinforce Major Anderson, remained idle spectators 
oftheeugagement. The garrison was allowed to salute its flag 
before leaving the fort, and, being conveyed by the Confeder- 
ate, April 14th, to the fleet waiting outside the bar, sailed 
immediately for New York. The casualties in this action were 
remarkably few. But four had been slightly wounded among 
the Carolinians. In Fort Sumter four of the garrison were 
wounded, two severely and two slightly. By accident on the 

' The author of the Oenem of the Civil War appears to have been impressed 
with wonder at the extraordinary absence of the gnard-boat from her station 
^tween the forts on that particular night. He says: "Had the guard-boat 
'^n present at Jier usual hour and carried out her orders, it would have been 
impossible to accomplish " the transfer. These orders, he s.iys rightly, were 
r^larlv transmitted each night by an aide-de-camp from the governor's 
bead-quarters. The concurrent testimony of Captain Joseph Johnson, Jr., 
and Lieutenant Thomas S. Mills, commanding the guard (Charleston Rifle- 
men), is that "the usual hour" was wholly uncertain, but was, at least, not 
^riierthan eight, nor later than nine, o'clock. The garrison, acting intelli- 
Wntly upon its own observation of the guard-boat service, began its move- 
nient "shortly after dusk," and completed it before eight o'clock, as Major 
Anderson reports. The innocent carelessness of the Carolinians is amusing ; 
ihe unaccountable amazement of the prudent and elusive garrison appears- 
to be hardly less so. The guard-boat did not leave the city until the guns 
^ Fort Sumter announced the transfer completed. 



day after the surrender one man was killed and five men were 

wounded at the same post. 

It was not until November of the same year that hostilities 

were renewed on the sea-coast of 
South Carolina. Port Royal en- 
trance to Broad River was a har- 
bor where the navies of the world 
might ride at anchor. A Union 
fleet of seventeen vessels carrying 
200 guns, linder Flag-Offioer S. 
F. DuPont, with 12,000 troops 
under Brigadier-General Thomas 
W. Sherman, was sent to occupy 
it and establish there a permanent 
naval station of the first grade. 
The C'onfederate defenses con- 
sisted of Forts Walker and Beau- 
regard, the former (23 guns) on 
the southern, the latter (20 guns) 
on the northern, shore of the en- 
trance, which was a little over two 
miles wide. A force under Brig- 
adier-General T. F. Drayton was 
stationed for support on Hilton 
Head Inland, and a weak flotilla 
under Commodore Tatuall was 
present and took part. On the 
morning of Xovembcr 7tli the 
fleet engaged both forts simul- 
taneously, and after an action of 
four hours they were abandoned 
by the garrisons and captured. 
The Union loss was 31 ; the Con- 
federate, (56. The hasty retreat 
of the Confederates was not in- 
terrupted, nor was any attempt 

*made for a long time by the Union troops to cut the important 

communication of the Charle-^ton and Savannah Railroad, within 



easy reach of the head of Broad River. The town of Beaufort 
was deserted, and with tlie neighboring country was given over 
to pillage ; the lands were confiscated for taxes, and some have 
never been returned to their former owners. 

In the following spring, May 29, an effort was made by a full 
regiment, with artillery, under command of Colonel B. C. Christ, 
to destroy the Charleston and Savannah Railroad near Pocotal- 
igo. It was foiled by the Confederate force under Colonel W. S. 
Walker, who brought into action only some squadrons of dis- 
moiinted cavalry, but drove back the enemy with loss. This be- 
came known a-? the first action at Pocotaligo. (See Appendiv A.) 

In consequence of the abandonment of Cole's Island, at Stono 
Inlet, through an unwise order of the Confederate commander, 
May 12, 1862, the Union forces under Major-Greneral David 
Hunter were increased, and an attempt was made to push 
through James Island to Charleston itself with about 12,000 
men. The Confederate force on James Island at this time was 
nearly 14,000 men, under Brigadier-General N. G. Evans. The 
extreme left of his long line was defended by Battery Lamar at 
Secessionville, an advanced earthwork armed with seven guns, 
and advantageously located on a tongue of land flanked by 
marshes.* A smaller work on the right, Battery Reid, was in 
supporting distance with tw^o siege-guns. After several days of 
reconnoitring and skirmishing, Brigadier-General H. W. Ben- 
ham, apparently disobeying Major-General Hunter's orders, 
attacked the works at Secessionville with two divisions and a 
brigade (7000 men) early on the morning of June 16, 1862. 
The Confederates, under Colonel T. G. Lamar, Second South 
Carolina Artillery, were nearly surprised and w^orsted at the 
onset, but, resisting bravely and being reinforced to about 750 
men, they successfully repelled four charges of the enemy, inflict- 
ing on them a disastrous repulse and a reported official loss of 
683 men, the Confederate loss being 204, pf which 32 were in 
the defense of the right by Brigadier-General Hagood. In two 
weeks from this defeat the Union troops evacuated James Island.* 

The selection of the site has been generally accredited to Colonel L. M. 
Hatch, who also constructed it with the labor of his regiment of Rifles. 
The Confederates engaged at Secessionville were the Second South Carolina 


The second action at Pcwotaligo marked tlie operations of the 
fall (October 22d-23d) on the coast of South Carolina. It Mas 
in larger force than l^efore, and with morte determination, that 
Brigadier-General J. M. Brannan moved from Beaufort upon 
the line of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. Landing at 
Mackay's Point, Ins column of 4500 men skirmished while ad- 
vancing as far as the bridge at " Old " Pocotaligo. There the 
Confederates, under Brigadier-General W. S. Walker, with 
infantry, artillery, and cavalry, a total of scarcely 500 men, 
engaged the Union troops, and forced them back to their gun- 
boats w ith a loss of 340 men, the Confederate loss being Ie:?s 
than half that number. A portion of General Brannan's force 
succeeded in gaining the railroad near Coosawhatchie, but by 
the timely intervention and resistance of some cavalry under 
Colonel C. J. Colcock it was prevented from <loing any great 
damage, and was driven back with the main command to its 
landing on Broad River. (See Appendix A ; also War Records, 
vol. xiv.) 

The next engagement was the capture of the Union gunlx>at 
Isaac Smith, Lieutenant-commanding F. S. Conover, carrying 
eleven guns. The scene of this brilliant affair was the Stono 
River, and the time January 30, 1863. A combination of in- 
fantry, with light and siege batteries,^ some concealed on the 
John's Island side, others on the James Island side of the Stono 
River, all acting under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph 

Artillery, the Fourth Louisiana battalion, Charleston battalion, the Twenty- 
second South Carolina volunteers, details, and the Ninth Soutli Carolina 
battalion. An important movement of the enemy on the right advance of the 
position was met and defeated by the First, the Twenty-fourth, and the Twenty- 
fifth South Carolina volunteers under Brigadier-General J. Hagood. (For a 
complete account of the action see a paper by General Hagood in the South- 
em Historical Society Papers, vol. xii. ; see also War Records, vol. xiv.) 

^ The commands engaged were — Siege-train, 2 companies ; Palmetto battal- 
ion, 1 company; First South Carolina (regular) Artillery, 2 companies; 
Lucas's battalion, 3 companies ; Second regiment South Carolina Artillery, 
detachment; Twentieth South Carolina (volunteer) Infantry, 2 companies; 
Georgia battalion, detachment. (For a full and graphic account of the dispo- 
sitions made and of the action see a narrative by William H. Chapman, first 
lieutenant Palmetto Guards Artillery, in the News and Courier^ Charleston, 
S. C., October 12, 1885; see also U. S. naval reports and War Records,) 


Scccsiiiomilk" [flineft Island 

Dr&wn bvCh^W Babbit 
Ai&* EncJiTiecr 

IncH TolOOFr 


A. Yates of the First South Carolina (regular) Artillery, caught 
the lx)at completely by surprise, and before she could escape dis- 
abled her, taking all hands prisoners (11 officers and 108 men), 
among whom there were 24 casualties — 9 killed and 15 wounded. 
The boat was soon brought through WapiKK) Cut into the harbor, 
repaired, and put to use by the Confederate naval officers : she 
was called the Stono, and finally ran the blockade. The thanks 
of the Confederate Congress were voted to Lieutenant-Colonel 
Yates and his gallant comrades.' Their loss was one man, mor- 
tally wounded. 

It was early the next morning after the capture of the Isaac 
Smith that Flag-Officer D. X. Ingraham attacked the blockading 
squadron off Charleston with the iron-clad rams Palmetto State 
and Chicora. Two of the blockaders, the Mercedita and the Key- 
stone State, were severely injured and surrendered, but were not 
taken possession of, and consequently they made their escape. 
The rams had no speed or sea-going qualities, and could not give 
chase farther than some miles seaward, but they succeeded in dis- 
persing the squadron of about ten vessels, and returned within 
the harbor after being masters of the situation for nearly twelve 
hours. They suffered no injury themselves, and had no casual- 
ties. The Palmetto State, bearing the commodore's flag, was 
under Lieutenant-commanding John Rutledge, and received the 
surrender of the Mercedita, Captain H. S. Stellwagen. The 
Chicora, under Commander John R. Tucker, engaged the Key- 
stone State, Commander W. E. LeRoy, and so disabled her as 
to cause the hauling down of her flag; but while a boat was 
making ready to receive her surrender the expected prize slipped 
away from the captors. The Union loss w^as severe, being a total 
of 47 casualties — 27 killed and 20 wounded. It was contended by 
some of the Confederate authorities that the blockade of Charles- 
ton harbor was raised by this attack, but, being disputed, the 
point was never sustained. This naval action, which came near 
to being a great success, together with the capture of the Isaac 
Smith and the repulse of the enemy at Secessionville the year 
before, combined to inspirit the defenders of Charleston very 
greatly, and encourage them to make preparation for the more 
serious work of the year which had just begun. 


The condition of the defenses immediately around the city 
and within its harbor varied considerably from month to month 
throughout the long course of a trying experience. Repairs 
and improvements of forts and batteries, changes in their arni- 
ament, progress in naval construction, experiments with new 
devices for obstructing channels, all gave active and constant 
employment to officers and men, mechanics and laborei's. In 
nothing was this variableness more to be noticed than in regard 
to the obstructions placed in all the navigable approaches and 

A beginning was made in 1862 by driving pine timber piles 

"^ a double row across the Middle Ground and Castle Pinckney 

channel, on a li^e due north of Fort Johnson and iK^twecn ()(X) 

f^ 7O0 yards in front of Fort Ripley. Tlie j)iles extended in 

'l'^^ over half a mile, leaving a space of three-fourths of a mile 

0? d^p water off Fort Johnson. The decay of these piles called 

for continual renewal, and the effect of gales would be to break 

off the weaker ones and leave serious gaps in the line. Though 

this obstruction belonged entirely to the inner harbor, and did not 

cross the ship-channel, it was maintained to the end of the war. 

In the same year obstructions were placed in Stono River — 

firi?t, of cribs with ballast off Battery Island, and in May of 

iive-oak trunks and branches off Fort Pemberton. 

It was in May also that step^ were taken, under Maj«)r-General 
J. C. Pemberton, commanding, to constrnc^t a boom of heavy 
timber logs, weighted and coupled with iron, and to anchor it 
across the channel between Forts Moultrie and Sumter. The 
gafe and the strong currents of the tideway, thirty to forty 
feet deep, pmved too much for it ; and this boom, prepared at 
great expense and under great difficulties, having l)een twic^e 
broken and nearly destroyed before the end of the year, was 
finally abandoned.* Use was made, however, of some of its 
sections to obstruct minor channels less exposed to wind and 
tide. A few sections were left in their original ^wsition, and 
were combined with another arrangement in 1863. 

* It wag losing its buoyancy also. The *" zeal and indefatigable industry" 
of Dr. John R. Cheves, who devoted himself to its construction, were specially 
commended from department head-quarters. 


This latter was the rope-obstruction, consisting at first of a 
continuous line of three cables "ratlined" together like the 
shrouds of a ship, the upper cable floated and bearing slack 
lines of rope to entangle wheels and propellers, the lower cable 
anchored to the bottom, bearing also streaming ropes of about 
fifteen feet in length, for the same purpose. Then, being broken, 
it was placed in sections ; and in this stsite, with its formidable 
array of beer-barrel floats, and an opening left next Fori Sumter 
three hundred yards unde, this rope-obstruction, taken to be a 
network of torpedoes, was to play an important part in the 
attack by the iron-clad squadron. 

Later in the year the lower cables were discarded, and a single 
cable, floattni in two lines and anchored in sections at one end 
only, bore all the streaming ropes designed to foul propellers. 
This became the modified and settled plan of the obstructions to 
the close of the defense. The plates at the end of the volume 
show these rope-obstnictions, booms, and torpedoes. 

The application of torpedoes for defense of harbors and water- 
ways must be dated from the first years of the war, when an 
experiment was made by Confederates upon the Union squadron 
in the Potomac River, July 7, 1861.* The impulse given was 
at once followed up by the exj^eriments and devices of the 
" Torpedo Bureau,'' established in Richmond, Virginia, October, 
1862, under the charge of Brigadier-Greneral G. J. Rains, and 
the " Naval Submarine Battery Service " was organized under 
command of Captain M. F. Maury, who relinquished it to 
Lieutenant Hunter Davidson, both of the Confederate navy.* 

General Beaureganl, in command at Charleston, was among 
the first to appreciate tin's new engine of war; and when in 
March, 1863, his attention was called by Captain F. D. Lee to 
tlie complete success of a spar-torpedo which he had invented, 
ordere were immediately given to extend the use of this device 
throughout the military department of South Carolina, Geoi'gia, 

* HUtory of the ConfedeniU Navy (Scbarf ), chap, xxiii., Torpedo Service, New 
York, 1887. 

^ Full particulars of the real origin of torpedo warfare cannot be given 
liere, but tliey are contained in Southern Hwiorlcrd Socidy Papers, vols, ii , iii., 
iv.; also in Annai^ of the War, Philadelphia, 1879, where General Beauregard 
gives a detailed account of their use in Charleston harbor. 


and Florida. Captain Lee, a native of Charle.->ton, wns an officer 
of Engineers who had served with distinction from the fii-st [)eri(Hl 
of tlie war, and after phuining. and cxmstructing many fortifica- 
tions on the coast, particularly Battery Wagner in tlie earlier 
stages, devoted himself to this interesting study of explosives. 
The spar-torpedo was simply a cylinder of copper or other tliiu 
metal or wocxl, made water-tight, filled with fitly to one hundretl 
jxrtinds of jwwder, capped with several highly sensitive jiercus- 
sion fuses on its conical or rounded end, the whole fixed firmly 
on a spar of wood or iron from twenty-five to thirty flvt long, 
and pushed through the water some feet below the surface against 
its object. 

Its merits were promptly recognized by Lieutenant W. T. 
Glassell of the Confederate Navy, although some of his su|)eriors 
had a great contempt for such " new-fangled notions." With 
the co-operation of Captain I^ee and the pecuniai-y assistance 
of Mr. Greorge A. Trenholm of Charleston, GIa?sell fitted out a 
flotilla of twelve small boats armed in this way for the purpose of 
attacking the Union fleet. How he aflerwaixl attacked the steam- 
frigate New Ironsides is well known, and can be found described 
fully in Appendix B. The objection to using the spar-torpedo, 
first raised by the navy, was overruled, and in a short time every 
Confederate iron -clad ram was mounted with one, carried in or 
out of the water at the end of a light iron spar thirty feet long. 

Captain Lee procured the assistance of the State of South 
Carolina toward the purchase and preparation of a strongly- 
built boat to carry a spar-tor]XHlo, to be made shot-pr<K)f with 
armor, and also very swift, so as to attack with impunity the 
lai^est vessels outside the harbor. The scheme was earnestly 
but vainly pressed by General Beauregard on both the Army 
and Navy Departments at Richmond, and after expending 
$50,000, the State's appropriation, without completing his boat, 
Captain Lee had the mortification of seeing it laid up, a useless 
hulk, to the end of the war. Two other and much lighter boats 
were subsequently used with success — the David and the Fish 
Boat — but this torpedo-ram, designed by Lee for use in Charles- 
ton harbor and outside the bar, was the real precursor of the 
boats now univei'sally adopted in the navies of the world. 


Fixed torpedoes were placed in the waters around Chark'stoii 
for the first time in March, 186«*^/ by order of General I^aurt*- 
gard, and the locality chosen was in Ashley River, below the 
railroad bridge at Spring street. These were frame torpedot*?^, 
and were put down also in Hog Island Channel and Castle 
Pinckney or Folly Channel. But there is no evidence of any 
having been placed between Fort Sumter and Sullivan's Islan<l 
before July 10, 1863, three months after the attack by the iron- 
clad squadron.* 

The large boiler-torpedo (electric) sunk in the ship channel 
about half a mile east by north of Battery Wagner is fully 
describwl, with sketches, in a report made May 25, 18G3, to 
General Beauregard by Charles G. DeLisle, assistant engineer.' 
He ' reports that " a few days before the attack on the forts a 
boiler eighteen feet long, three feet in diameter, containing 3000 
pounds of powder, was laid by General Ripley's order in the 
main ship channel, about one mile oti* Fort Sumter and half a 
mile oj)posite Fort Wagner." The part which this large torpedo 
did 7iot take in the attack of the iron-clad squadron, April 7, is 
described in Chapter II. and Appendix B. 

DeLisle says, further, that on April 5th (two days before the 
fight) General Ripley ordered another boiler to be sunk in the 
channel between Sumter and Moultrie, but, not being made 
ready in time for that locality, it was sunk hastily during the 
afternoon of the 7th o])posite White Point Battery in a place 
called " Poor Man's Hole," and was never recovered. 

Two iron-clad steam-rams, built on the general plan of the 
Merrimac (Virginia) with slanting casemate sides, were built 
in Charleston, and took their places for the defense of the har- 
bor in the end of the year 1862. 

The first launched was the Palmetto State, with iron plating 
four inches thick, " a battery of one 80-poundcr rifle gun for- 
ward, a 60-pounder rifle afl, and one Vlll-inch shell-gun on each 
broadside." The next was the Chicora, armcKl with six guns, 

* War Reronh. vol. xiv. page 835. Captsiin M. M. Gray testified that he 
laid them as early as February. (Report Secretary U. S. Navy, 1865.) 

'Captain Gray, Report Secretary of Navy, 1865, page 285. 

* War Records^ vol. xiv. pages 948-952. 



two IX-inch smoothbore and four 60-pounder rifles. These 
boats were well built^ but dieir steam-power was insufficient for 



the speed required of rams, and their engines called for constant 
repairing. Their crews numbered from 120 to 150 men.* 

^ A third and stronger ram, the Charleston, was completed early in 18&4. 
A fourth, the Cohimbia, with six inches of plating, was completed early *in 
1865, but, being disabled by an accident, she was never in service. The 
wooden gunboat prize, Isaac Smith, was '^a very swift steamer of 450 tons," 
mounting one rifled gun and eight Vlll-inch smoothbores. Under the new 
name of Stono and the command of Cuptain H. J. Hartstene she was a val- 
uable colleague of the rams until the night of June 5, 1863, when in trying 
to run the blockade she was wrecked off Fort Moultrie. The Juno, Lieuten- 
ant Philip Porcher commanding, distinguished for the capture of a Union 
launch, was eventually lost at sea running the blockade with cotton for Nassau 
in the fall of 1863, nearly all on boanl perishing. 

The officers of the Palmetto State were— Flag-Officer. D. X. Tngraham, com- 
manding squadron ; Lieutenant^Commander, John Rutled^e ; Lieutenants, W. 
H. Parker, Philip Porcher, G. S. Shyrock, R. J. Bowen; Master, F. T. Chew; 
Surgeon, A. M. Lynah ; Chief Engineer, M. P. Jordan: Midshipmen, C. F. 
Sevier, W. P. Hamilton, C. Cary; Pilots, G. D. Gladden. A. Johnson. 

The officers of the Chicora were — Captain, J. R. Tucker; Lieutenants, G. 
H. Bier, William T. Glassell, W. H. Wall ; Master, A.M.Mason; Acting 
Master, J A. Payne; Passed Midshipman, J. P. Claybrooke; Midshipmen, 
R. H. Bacot, Palmer Saunders, Roger Pinckney; Surjreon, W. M. Turner; 
Engineer, H. Clarke; Pilots, Thomas Payne and James Aldert. 

In the early part of 1864, when the Charleston was commissioned. Commo- 
dore Tucker transferred his flag to h^r from the Chicora. She was comman-led 
by Commander Isaac N. Brown ; Commander Thomas T. Hunter was assigned 
to the Chicora, and Commander James H. Rorhelle to the Palmetto State. 
(For all of ihis information I have been indebted to Scharfs Hisiory of the 
Co'ffederate Sari/. — J. J.) 


It remains only that the military strength of Charleston har- 
bor and vicinity in men and arms, as it was about April 1^ 1863, 
should be now described. 

The Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida 
had iU head-quarters at Charleston, where since September 24, 
1862, General G. T. Beauregard had been in command. His 
>taff was constituted as follows : Brigadier-General Thomas 
Jordan, Chief of Staff; Lieutenant-Colonel J. F. Lay, Adjutant 
and Inspeetor-Greneral ; Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Roman, Ad- 
jutant and Inspeetor-Greneral ; Lieutenant-Colonel J. R. Waddy, 
Chief of Ordnance ; Major John T. O'Brien, A. A. G. ; Cap- 
tain H. Wemyss Feilden, A. A. G. ; Captain Clifton H. Smith, 
A. A. G. ; Captain John M. Otey, A. A. G. ; Captain E. Pliny 
Bnan, A. A. G. 

Engineer Department: Major David B. Harris, Chief En- 
gineer Department; Major William H. Echols, Chief Engi- 
neer of South Carolina; Colonel A. J. Gonzales, Chief of 
Artillery ; Major Hutson Lee, Chief Quartermaster ; Surgeon 
R. L. Brodie, Chief Medical Director ; Major H. C. Guerin, 
Chief of Subsistence ; Major Henry Bryan, Adjutant and In- 

The coast of South Carolina was divided into four military 
districts, as follows : 

1st. The First Military District, Brigadier-General R. S. Rip- 
ley commanding, embraced the works for the defense of the har- 
bor and approaches to the city of Charleston, limited on the east 
by the South San tee River and on the west by the Stono and 
Rantowle's Creek. 

2d. The Second Military District, Brigadier-General John- 
^m Hagood commanding, extended from the western limit of 
the First District to the Ashepoo River. 

3d. The Third Military District, Brigadier-General W. 
S. Walker commanding, was limited on the east by the Sec- 
ond Military District and on the west by the Savannah 

4th. The Fourth Military District, Brigadier-General James 
H. Trapier commanding, was bounded on the south-west by the 
South Santee River and on the north-east by the boundary-line 


between the States of North and South Carolina. — {War Rei^ 
ordsj vol. xiv.) 

The organization of troops in the First Military District was 
as follows (March 13, 1863) : 

Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley commanding. 

James Island and tSt, Andrew^ s Parish. 

Brigadier-General S. R. Gist commanding. 

8th Georgia Battalion, Major B. F. Hunt. 

25th South Carolina, Colonel Charles H. Simonton. 

3(1 South Carolina Cavalry, Company K, Captain T. Cordes. 

Ferguson's (South Carolina) Cavalry, Company G, Captain B. 
W. McTureous. 

2(1 South Carolina Artillery, Lieutenant-Colonel A. D. Fred- 

Lucas's (South Carolina) Battalion of Artillery, Major J. J. 

Palmetto (South Carolina) Battalion of Artillery, Lieuteuantr 
Colonel E. B. White. 

Brigadier- General T. L. Clinginan^s Brigade. 

8th North Carolina, Colonel H. M. Shaw. 
31st North Carolina, Colonel John V. Jordan. 
51st North Carolina, Colonel Hector McKethan. 
61st North Carolina, Colonel James D. Radcliffe. 
German Artillery, Company B, Captain F. Melchers. 

8xdlivan?s Island and Christ Church Painsh. 

Brigadier-General James H. Trapier, commanding, havin^: 
been temporarily withdrawn from command of the Fourth 
Military District. 

1st South Carolina Infantry (regulars), Colonel William Butler. 

20th South Carolina Infantry, Colonel L. M. Keitt. 

Ferguson's (South Carolina) Cavalry, Company E, Captain L. 
A. Whilden. 


ILatledge (South Carolina) Cavalry, Company D, Captain 

Thomas Pinckney. 
1st South Carolina Artillery (regulars), Companies I and K, 

Captain J. A. Sitgreaves. 
Perguson's Light Battery, Captain Thomas B. Ferguson. 
German (South Carolina) Artillery, Company A, Captain D. 

Santee (South Carolina) Artiller}', Captain Christopher Gaillard. 

Monns Island. 

2l8t South Carolina, Colonel Robert F. Graham. 
Gist Guards, Captain C. E. Chichester. 
Mathewes Artillery, Captain J. R. Mathewes. 

OUy of Charleston. 

46th Georgia, Colonel P. H. Colquitt. 
Charleston Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel P. C. Gaillard. 
21st Battalion Georgia Cavalry, Major W. P. White. 
South Carolina Siege-Train, Major Charles Alston, Jr. 

Ca^gtle Pinckney and Fort Ripley. 

1st South Carolina Artillery (regular). Company H, Captain 
H. S. Farley. 

Fmi, Sumter, 

\^ South Carolina Artillery (regular), Companies B, C, D, E, 
P, G, I, Colonel Alfred Rhett. 
According to the returns of troops made April 7, 1863/ the 
following will exhibit the totals of "effectives" in each militar}^ 
district, and the grand total in the department : 

First Military District of South Carolina 11,229 

Second Military District of South Carolina 2,849 

Third Military District of South Carolina 5,837 

District of Georgia (Savannah) . ! 10,125 

District of Middle Florida ... 1,374 

District of East Florida 803 

Totol in the department 32,217 

* War Recm-dit, vol. xiv. page 889. 


The armament of James Island, reported by Brigadier-General 
S. R. Gist, March 3, 1863, was thus disposed : 

Fort Johnson, 5 giins (two 10-inch and two 328 and one 32 

rifle), with one 10-inch mortar, total 6giins. 

Battery Glover, opposite White Point Garden, in the city, 5 " 

Battery Means, near the Ashley mouth of Wappoo Cut . . 2 " 

Fort Pemberton, near the Stono mouth of Wappoo Cut . . 15 " 

Western division of lines (2600 yards) 17 " 

Eastern division of lines (2600 yards) 20 " 

Battery Reed, on the right flank of Fort Lamar 2 " 

Secessionville (Fort Lamar), 13 guns and 1 mortar .... 14 " 

James Island was therefore at that time defended by an ag- 
gregate of 81 guns, of which only 13 were on the harbor. 

Morris Island had in its principal work, Battery Wagner, at 
this time, only 7 guns ; and in Battery Gregg, at Curaming's 
Point, only 2 guns; total, 9 guns. 

Sullivan^s Island was armed as follows : Breach Inlet Battery 
(Marshall), 8 guns ; Beauregard Battery, 6 guns ; Fort Moultrie, 
24 guns ; Battery Bee, 10 guns ; total, 48 guns. 

FoH Sumter's armament consisted of 40 guns in casemate and 
45 in barbette on the ramparts, making a total of 85 guns, with 
7 mortars. Of this aggregate, only the guns of the eastern or 
right face and flank were to be brought into action — viz. 37 guns 
and 7 mortars. But as among them were 13 smoothbore 32- 
pounders, pieces of no value against armored vessels, and as, 
l)esides, the fire of the mortars would be very uncertain, the 
actual armament of the fort likely to prove effective in the 
approaching struggle could be no more than 24 guns.' 

The garrison consisted of seven companies of the First regi- 
ment of South Carolina Artillery (regulars), commanded by 
Colonel Alfred Rbett, Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph A. Yates, and 
Major Ormsby Blauding, making a total of about 550 officers 
and men. Under strict discipline, with constant drill and prac- 
tice, the garrison had attained the highest degree of excellence. 

' The weight or calibre of these pieces was as follows: four 10-inch colum- 
biads, two 9-inch Dahlgrens, two 7-inch Brooke rifles, eight 8-inch cohimbiads 
and navy shell-guns, seven 42-i>onnders, rifled and banded, and one 32- 
pounder, rifled and banded. The mortars were of the 10-inch sea-coast 


An afternoon trip down the harbor to see the dress-parade and 
hear the band play at Fort Sumter was held by the Charleston- 
ians to be an indispensable custom — a, tribute due both to the 
war spirit of the time and to the merit of a fine command. 
(An idea of the organization of the regiment, its companies and 
officers, may be formed from reading Colonel Rhett's report of 
April 7, 1863, in the Appendix of this work.) ^ 

' It appears that one of the biographers of General R. E. Lee has, in uncon- 
8ciuu8 affection for his noble chief, greatly exaggerated the extent and value 
of the defensive works ordered and constructed during his command of the 
Department of South Carolina and Georgia, from November 8, 1861, to March 
3, 1862, a period of only four months. (See Memoirs cf Lee^ by A. L. Long, 
chap, viii.) At the time of General Lee's departure for Virginia no problem 
of iron-clad warfare had yet presented itself, and except perhaps the '* Thun- 
derbolt" batteries below Savannah and the first works at Battery Bee, Sulli- 
van's Island, Charleston harbor, there were no fortifications along the coast 
that General Lee would have estimated \^ry highly, and none as constituting 
**a strong interior line of defense extending from Winyaw Bay to the mouth 
of the St. Mary's River." From March to September some changes, and a 
few only wliich were advantageous, were made by order of Major-General 
Peraherton. Bui it wa.s not until the administration of General Beauregard 
and his chief engineer, Colonel Harris, that the defenses on the coast attained 
\he h\^\i degree of excellence for which they became distinguished. The cor- 
rection of General Liong's error was made in June, 1876, by General Thomas 
J"nfan, writing for the Southern Historical Society a paper on this subject. 
*! he present writer feels called upon to add his testimony to that of General 



Confidence of the Northern Mind in Armored Vesbeus and the 
Capture of Charleston by them — Combined Operations prepared 
under Rear- Admiral DuPont and Major-General Hunter- 
Rendezvous OF THE Squadron at Port Royal— Experimental At- 
tacks ON Fort McAllister on the Coast of Georgia — DuPont's 
Distrust of the Vessels iNCBEAflED— Squadron cro88E8 Charles- 
ton Bar — Force and Armament of the Squadron— General 
Beauregard in Command of the Defense— Two Confederate 
Iron-clad Kams stationed within the Obstructions — Advance 
OF the Squadron April 7th— Spirit of the Garrison of Fort 
Sumter under Colonel Rhett — Fort Moultrie Opens Fire- 
Action Begun by the First Division of Four Monitors— Flag- 
ship New Ironsides Slow to Advance— Drjfto almostt out op 
Ran(}E— Weeiiawken Fears to Push her Raft against Obstruc- 
tions— P.vst* a ic Drops out of Range to Repair Damages — Four 
ViKsELs OF Second Division move Forward into Action, Nahant 
AND Keokuk comincj Nearest of All— Fort Sumter's Fire be- 
comes most Effective— Rear-Admiral Signals to Withdraw from 
AcT'ioN- llis Captains report Five out of Eight Vessels more 
OR LESS Disabled— Fort Sumter's Inji:ries— Total Firing and 
Casualties on both Sidis— Keokxtc Sinks next Morning — Esti- 
mates OF Range and Obstruction compared— Mr. Swinton's 
Testimony to Confederate Artillerists. 

The capture of Charleston bv a strong force of armored ves- 
sels, to be supported, if necessary, by troojis operating on land, 
seems to have been almost the first thing determined on by the 
United States Navy Department after the fight in Hampton 
Roads between the Monitor and Merrimae (Virginia).* That 
conflict marked the first real epoch in the history of iron-<?lad 
warfare : the second w%as made memorable by tli(^ attack on Fort 
Sumter, now to be related. 

Only thirteen months intervened between the two events. In 
* See Appendix for Secretary Welles's con6dential despatches to Flag-Officer 

Rcar-Admiral SAMUEL F. Di PONT, U. S. N.. 

Commanding S. A. B. Squadron 1863-63. 

From a Photograph. 

Native of New Jersey ; entered U. S. Navy in 1815; Lieutenant 1826; 

Commander 1843; Captain 1856; Commanding Philadelphia 

Navy Yard Jan., 1861; Flag Officer Port Royal, S. C. 

Nov., 186 1. 

• • • • « 

• • • •,• 

• •••«• • 


that period of time the Federal power had remedied many 
defects in the construction of '^ monitors/' and had substituted 
for the Xl-inch smoothbore Dahlgren guns the heavier metal 
of XV-inch smoothbore guns and 8-inch Parrott rifles, the 
former throwing projectiles of 440 pounds, the latter of 155 
pounds weight. The Confederates had been cut off from all other 
than their own very limited resources of manufacture, and had 
not been able to improve on either the masonrj' forts of the day 
or on the ordnance used by the Virginia. The best their gov- 
ernment could do was to arm its forts with the then old-fash- 
ioned 10-inch columbiads (smoothbore) and a few Vll-inch rifle 
cannon of the pattern invented by Lieutenant John M. Brooke 
of the Confederate Navy. The columbiads threw projectiles 
of 128 pounds ; the rifles threw shells and bolts from 100 to 
133 pounds in weight. 

But it was not until the early months of the next year (186»*^) 
that preparations were actively b^un on the coast of South 
Carolina. The flag-officer of the South Atlantic blockadinj^ 
squadron, Captain Samuel F. DuPont, distinguished for his 
success in forcing an entrance into Port Royal, between Charles- 
ton and Savannah, November 7, 1861, was made rear-admiral, 
and for his captains he seems to have drawn around him some 
of the finest officers of the service. The War Office in Jan- 
uary placed Major-General David Hunter in command of the 
Department of the South ; and in February he was joined at 
Port Royal by Major-General J. G. Foster, coming from the 
coast of North Carolina with 10,000 infantry and 600 artillery. 
Soon after Stono Inlet and Folly Island were occupied by theni.» 
But dissension between the twp generals resulted in Foster's re- 
turning North, and leaving his command to serve under Hunter 
in the expedition against Charleston. When the rear-admiral 
was ready to move Major-General Hunter was prepared to co-op- 
erate with him, by the way of Folly and Morris Islands,* with a 
force of thirteen thousand men. 

The squadron made its first rendezvous at Port Royal. While 
its vessels were assembling there three or four of the monitors 

^ Cole*g Island, within Stono Inlet, having been abandoned bv the Confed- 
erates the vear before, was occupied by Union troops March 28, 1863. 



were ordered to make experiment on Fort McAllister, a forti- 
fication located near the mouth of fhe Great Ogeechee River on 
the adjacent coast of Georgia. Here in January, February, and 
March four trials were made, the last being for eight hours, with 

(When stationed off Charlestou she appeared without masta or sails.) 

the Passaic, Patapsco, and Nahant, " the Montauk, having been 
three times under fire of the foil and sufiBciently tested," not 
joining in on this occasion. The Passaic's deck was "very 
badly injured," and altogether the results were not encourag- 
ing. Rear- Admiral DuPont reluctantly confessed : " The injuries 
to the monitors were extensive, and their ofiensive powers found 
to be feeble in dealing with forts, particularly earthworks."' 

While the most confident expectations continued to be indulged 

in at Washington, and the public mind of the whole North was 

excited and sanguine on the subject, it was evident that the 

naval officers themselves were becoming more distrustful of 

* their vessels, or, as one of them expressed it, of " this fighting 

* Fort McAllister, at Genesis Point, near the mouth of the Great Ogeechee 
River of (ieorgia, was a well-built earthwork with heavy parapets and trav- 
erses, but with only seven guns and one mortar for its armament. Of these, 
the largest seems to have been a 10-inch columbiad (smoothbore). Major 
George W. Anderson. Jr., the commander, distinguished himself on these 
occasions, and even when, later, he was forced by overwhelming numbers 
from Sherman's army to surrender the post after a brave resistance, with hand- 
to-hand fighting on the parapets. This was shortly before the fall of Savan- 
nah, in December, 1864. 


by machinery." War-correspondents had been engaged for 
months and were awaiting the signal of conflict. It is not too 
much to say that no "coming event '^ of the war since the first 
great battle had so held the people of the North in hopeful sus- 
pense as this approaching attack on the citadel of Charleston 
harbor. Mr. Welles wrote to Admiral DuPont: "There is 
intense anxiety in regard to your operations.'' 

It should be borne in mind that the squadron included three 
distinct classes of armored vessels : 

1. The "monitors," represented by seven of what became 
known as the Passaic class, differing from the first monitor 
chiefly in two particulars — viz. (a) the removal of the pilot- 
house from its position on deck forward of the turret to a bet- 
ter position on the top of the turret ; (6) the increased tliick- 
ness of the armor of the turret from eight to eleven inches, and 
of the timber backing of the iron-clad hull. The seven vessels 
of this class were the Passaic, Montauk, Patapsco, Weehawken, 
Nantucket, Catskill, and Nahant. 

2. The Keokuk, an iron-clad batterj- differing from the first 
in showing about five feet of slanting hull above the water-line, 
in having two fixed turrets, each armed with one Xl-inch gun, 
and in having only six and a quarter inches of armor on the 
turrets, with deficient plating on the hull also. 

3. The New Ironsides, a seagoing screw iron-clad steamer, 
plated with rolled plates four and a half inches thick, except 
at the bow and stern, which were bare; having three decks, 
with an armament of seven Xl-inch guns on the broadside and 
tvvo Vlll-inch or 200-pounder rifles on pivots ; draught, six- 
teen feet; displacement, 3500 tons. It was the intention of 
her builders that she should be bark-rigged, but she served off 
Charleston without masts or rigging of any sort {Appendix B.) 

The squadron carried a total of thirty-two guns, apportioned 
as follows:* twenty-two Xl-inch smoothbore, seven XV-inch 
amoothbore, and three Vlll-inch Parrott rifle cannon. 

In point of both armament and power of resistance it was 
[o be the most formidable naval attack hitherto made in this or 
^^y other conntry. The British fleet before Sebastopol (1854) 
appears to have had no guns heavier than 68-pounders. 


Thus the attack on Fort Sumter involved the employment of 
nine armored vessels of three different classes against a case- 
mated fort built of brick and concrete masonrj'^, armed with 
80 guns and garrisoned with 550 men. It is true that Foit 
Moultrie, with other works at the entrance of Charleston har- 
bor, took an active part, though at long range, in the defense, 
but the attack may be said to have been made entirely on 
Fort Sumter ; for, with the exception of some twenty shots fired 
at the works on Sullivan's and Morris Islands, the attacking 
squadron paid no attention to any other object than the one 
fort it had come to engage. 

The second rendezvous of the armored vessels was at North 
Edisto Entrance, about halfway to Charleston. Here the rear- 
admiral took his flag April 2d, and stayed a few days, perfecting 
his arrangements. 

In the forenoon of Sunday, April 5th, the fleet of iron-clad 
vessels, gunboats, and transports began to arrive off Charleston 
bar, their coming being clearly observed from Fort Sumter, 
and even from the steeples of the city itself. At the fort it 
was hailed with the hoisting of flags and the firing of a salute. 
The afternoon was spent in buoying the channel over the bar. 
Monday morning the rear-admiral hoisted his flag on the Xew 
Ironsides, and all the armored vessels crossed the bar, intending 
to advance that day. But, the weather proving hazy, the time 
was spent in sounding and buoying the main channel, which lies 
off Morris Island, while the squadron remained at anchor about 
four and a half miles to the south-east of Fort Sumter.* 

Tuesday, April 7, 1863, dawne<l clear and mild upon land and 
sea. On board the vessels everything was made ready for action. 
At all the posts in the harbor an attack was looked for, not with 
over-confidence of success, because the problem was known to be 
an entirely untried one, but with perfect firmness and abundant 
spirit. It became known to the commanding genetal that ad- 
ditional troops had this day been landed on Folly Island in 
Stono Inlet, but how far they were destined to co-operate with 
the naval movement could not be conjectured. Were they to 

* That very night a blockade-mnning steamer slipped in past the monitors 
at anchor, her officers taking them for Confedorate iron-clads. 


operate with the troops already on Folly Island and move upon 
Morris Island, keeping close to the squadron, or were they to 
strike for the city at once by a dash from the Stono River 
through the weak, attenuated lines of James Island? This 
latter island was the key to Charleston, to the inner as well as 
to the outer harbor ; and General Beauregard must have been 
relieved to find that the enemy at this time, as again later in the 
same year, preferred to operate strictly on the sea-line, and so 
missed an opportunity of capturing the harbor and city of 

The total Confederate force in the First Military District 
around the harbor was 11,229 men. (For full particulars see 
Chapter I.) 

The admiral's plan of attack was to pass the batteries on 
Morris Island without engaging them, to move around Fort 
Sumter if he could, and take up a position to the northward and 
westward of that fortification. Five well-armed gunboats* wei-e 
held in reserve outside the bar to support the iron-clads when 
attacking Morris Island " after the reduction of Fort Siunter." 
The order of battle was to be the line ahead, in the following 
sua-ession : 

1. Weehawken, 2 guns, Captain John Rodgera. 

2. Paasaic, 2 " " Percivnl Drayton. 

3. Montaiik, 2 " *' John L. Woi^en. 

4. Patapsoo, 2 " Commander Daniel Ammen. 

5. New Inmsides, 16 " Captain T. Turner. Flagship. 

6. Catakill, 2 " Commander O. W. Rodgen*. 

7. Nantuck^et, 2 " " D. McN. Fairfax. 

8. Nahant,' 2 " " John Downes. 

9. Keokuk, 2 « " A. C. Rhind. 

First Division. 


* M^'or-General David Hnnter had a force of 13,000 men in Stono Inlet and 
on Folly Island. He wrote the President that on the morning after the attack 
by the squadron his command was in complete readiness to cross Lighthouse 
Inlel to Morris Island, and " that he was equippe<l with 100- and 200 pounders, 
rifled, sufficient to render Fort Sumter untenable in two days' fire." On the 
other hand, Rear-Admiral DuPont wrote the Secretary of the Navy : " Had 
the land forces on this occasion (April?, 1863) been at all adequate to the 
emergency, the result might have been all that the country desired." 

'The Canandaigua, the Housatonic, the Unadilla, the Wissahickon, and the 


It was decided to await the hour of high-water, 10.20 A. M.,* 
and not attack before the ebb-tide could be depended on to assist 
the steering and prevent any disabled vessel from drifting into 
the harbor. Accordingly, the signal for advance to battle was 
not given till 12.15 P. M., that being as early as the pilots advised. 
It was not, however, promptly obeyed, for the Wcehawken, in 
the lead, was stopped by an accident which delayed the wliole 
squadron for an hour and a half. Just as she began to weigh 
anchor the chain was caught by one of the grapnels hanging 
beneath the rait attached to her bow for purposes of protection 
against torpeiloes and obstructions!* 

Captain Drayton of the Passaic, next in line of battle, sig- 
nalled for permission to go ahead. But the Weehawken cleared 
her anchor by 1 .46, and then all moved forward slowly against 
the ebl>-tide. As observed from Fort Moultrie in particular, 
the advance appeared for some time uncertain, so slow was the 
progress of the line. 

At Fort Sumter the movement of the squadron was seen from 
the first, and all were on the alert. There was time for the gar- 
rison to take dinner, and so they dined. Then, at half-past two 
o'cl(x?k, the long-roll was sounded : officers and men, clad in full 
uniform as for dress-parade, sprang to their posts with a dash of 
good-will : discnpHne suppressed the cheering which began. Be- 
sides the Confederate garrison flag flown from the principal staff 
at the northern salient, the flag of the State of South Carolina, a 
bhic field wuth white crescent and palmetto, was hoisted at the 
western angle of the gorge ramparts, while the colors of the 

* 3f{nei^8 Afmanar^ Charleston, S. C. 

' This massive raft, devised by Mr. Ericsson, was 50 feet long and 27 feet 
wide, shnped like a boot-jnck, and desired primarily to carry a torpedo to be 
used in blowing up obstructions, Althoujrh this was attached to the bow of 
the leading vessel, the "Weehawken. as she advanced to action, the torpedo had 
purposely been left behind, as likely to do more harm to friends than enemies. 
Captain John Rodpers thoupht the raft might be useful with grapnels hang- 
ing from it to catch obstructions, and for that reason only he took it into 
action. But it was never tested against the obstructions for which it was de- 
signed. Some time toward the close of the day it was cut adrift, having been 
found to start the 5-inch armor on the bow, and it floated up on the beach of 
Morris Island. There it was examined and a drawing of it made by the Con- 


First regiment floated from the eastern angle of the same. 
Colonel Rhett ordered at the hoisting of these flags a salute 
of thirteen guns to be fired and the band of the regiment to play 
on the ramparts in the hearing of the enemy. Major Blanding 
took his station in command of the 
casemates ; Lieutenant-Colonel Yates 
was in charge of all the open-air bat- 
teries ; and the colonel commanding, 
choosing for his point of view the 
vicinity of the Brooke rifle, could be 
seen from all parts of the fort stand- 
ing on the parapet of the south-east- 
em angle, a few others in company 
with him, silently watching the aj>- 
proach of the vessels. (See Appen- 
dix, Colonel Rhett's report.) 

Meanwhile, Battery Wagner had 
been reached by the squadron pass- 
ing in line ahead slowly to the front. 
Neither side was disposed t<» fire : the 
time had not yet come. The hush 
of a breathless suspense was every- 
where around the scene. The ver\' 
waters seemed to smooth the w ay, so 
("aim and all but glassy did they ap- 
l)ear, swelling gently beneath the blue 
sky and bright sunshine of that April 
afternoon. But on the forts and bat- 
teries guarding the entrance to the 
harbor, where the artillerists stootl 
ready by their guns, the light of 
battle was already kindling in the 
soldiers' eyes, and within the dark, 
iron turrets of the fleet the sailors 
too were girding themselves for the fight. No unconcerned 
spectator was present that day. From the gunboats outside 
the bar, where the Northern war-correspondents had secured a 
place, np to the western limits of the picture, where the city 



closed the view, the k)okers-on had their whole hearts in the 
issue. A glauce toward the inner circle of the harbor would 
take in the hulls of the Chicora and Palmetto State, Confederate 
iron-clads, stationed inside the obstructions of tlie Middle Ground, 
steaming slowly and silently like sentinels pacing their lieats; 
the forts and batteries on tlie shores which narrowed in the dis- 


tance, as if to clasp the city in their guardian arms ; the throng 
of citizens gathering every moment on the wharves, crowding 
the long reach of the Promenade Battery and occupying every 
high place on the water-front which could give them a view of 
the conflict, then so near at hand. 

At last, just before the leading monitor had come abreast of 
Fort Sumter, a puflF of white smoke from Fort Moultrie rolled 
up in curling clouds from the shore of Sullivan's Island, and 
the next moment the stillness of the harbor was broken by the 
heavy report of the first gun. This w^as at ten minutes before 
three o'clock. But the range was too great for Moultrie's colum- 
biads, and the fire was suspended for a little while. One gun 
from the Passaic, second in line, was fired in reply. By this 

Colonel ALFRED RHETT, First Regimeni S. C. Artillery, 

Commanding Fort Sumter 186^-63. 

From a Photograph. 


time the leading monitor, Weehawken, with raft ahead, had 
opened on Fort Sumter before she had reached a'well-known 
buoy placed by the Confederates at the turn of the channel east 
of Fort Sumter and distant from it 1120 yards. The barbette 
guas of the eastern flank of the fort, previously trained on this 
buoy, opened fire "by battery'' on the Weehawken at three 
o'clock, as soon as she reached that object. Then all the guns 
that could be brought to bear, from Fort Moultrie, Batteries 
Bee and Beauregard on Sullivan's Island, together with Battery 
Gregg at Cumming's Point, joined in with Sumter. 

At this time the flagship. New Ironsides, slackened speed, 
being about a mile from Fort Sumter, with the second divis- 
ion of the .squadron in the rear. First to one side, then to 
the other, her bow pointed, as though hesitating which way 
to swing round with the ebb-tide. She had all the appear- 
ance of a ship becoming unmanageable from lack of steam 
and headway, rather than from power of tideway. On board 
they believed her to be in great danger of grounding.* These 
movements of the flagship, whether from the want of steam 
or of steering qualities, were not only noticed from the shore, 
bnt they excited also the greatest surprise and confusion in the 
squadron itself. True, the line in front had become disar- 
ranged by the backing of the Weehawken and Passaic, the 
former not daring to try the raft upon the obstructions. But 
all expected the iron-clad frigate, with her powerful broad- 
side of seven Xl-inch guns, to move forward instead of halt- 
ing at the distance of one mile, and before long drifting farther 
yet to a distance of over two thousand yards from Fort Sumter. 
Alwnt this time she was thought to be immediately over the 
large boiler torpedo off* Battery Wagner and connected with it 
by electric wire. (See Chapter I.) The officer in charge at 
that post, Assistant Engineer Langdon Cheves, tried in vain 
to ignite the charge, and for some reason never discovered the 

* As her dmught was sixteen feet, and the depth of the channel in thai 
TJcinitj was from twenty to fifty-four feet for a width of about a half mile, 
the conclusion is, that she must have been on the eastern edge of the chan- 
nel, and not in mid-channel, as represented on Major Echols's map. She 
magt have been farther off from Fort Sumter than even the Confederate 
estimate of her diatance. (Appendix B.) 


steam -frigate escaped the hidden danger. (See Appendix B.) 
Her stopping threw the line behind her into such confusion that 
she ran foul of the Catskill and the Nantucket, and she finally 
signalled at 3.20 p. m. that the squadron should disregard the 
movements of the flagship. 

At Fort Sumter the stir of that first pericnl of the fight was 
intense. The scene within the fort, so changed from the fixed 
attitude an hour before expecting the attack, was now one of 
the utmost activity consistent with perfect discipline and stead- 
iness of conduct. The gunners of the batteries engaged were 
kept incessantly in motion serving their pieces, whether seen 
along the ramparts canopied with smoke or observed flitting 
with gleams of red and gray uniform in and out of the shad- 
ows of the lower casemates. Up and down the spiral stair- 
ways sped the runners to and from the magazines. Men, and 
sometimes officers, hurried about with orders and messages in 
every direction, while the ear but slowly grew accustomed to 
the thunder of the heavy guns and the mind braced iteelf for 
the crisis of the battle. 

The first shots fired at the fort came from the leading moni- 
tor, Weehawken. One passed over the heads of the men stand- 
ing ready to fire the barbette guns of the right flank, and cut a 
clean hole through the regimental flag flying on the gorge-wall, 
piercing it near the crossing of the two cannons in the centre 
of its field. Another shot threw down a shower of bricks from 
the traverse at the eastern angle upon the heads of the men near 
by, slightly wounding some of them. One of the largest shells, 
exploding near the water's edge at the base of the eastern wall, 
sent up over the parapet a column of sea-water, to fall in a cas- 
cade of spray over the guns and the new uniform of Adjutant 
S. C. Boylston, filling the crown of his scarlet cap like an over- 
flowing saucer. Another shell, penetrating entirely through the 
scarp-wall on the level of the upi)er-tier embrasures, or rather 
where these had been hastily bricked up, set fire in bursting to 
some straw bedding left in the soldiers' quarters on that eastern 
side of the fort. From the barracks of the western flank, ex- 
posed to a reverse fire, all such combustibles had been removed, 
but it was thought that no single shell could breach the wall, as 


this one did, and therefore the beds had been left. The accident 
was alarming ; the service of the guns overhead and of the mag- 
azine adjacent was imperilled. But the prompt and efficient 
conduct of a well-organized fire department with engine and 
hose, directed by the officer of the day, Lieutenant Charles 
Inglesby, averted the danger. Another alarm, caused by a 
shell's bursting in the western barracks, proved to be less dan- 
gerous. At first the firing of the fort was by battery and very 
<iuick, as it was thought that the vessels would attempt to run 
past the forts and enter the harbor. But as the firing progressed 
the practice became more deliberate, accurate, and effisctive. Not 
long after the action b^an the total of guns engaged on the east- 
ern flank was reduced one-half by an order from the colonel 
commanding. The smoke arising from the lighter guns in the 
lower casemates was found to obscure the. view from the parapet, 
and this gave good reason for the closing of their embrasures. 
But as soon as the foremost monitors came within the field of 
fire of the right or north-eastern face of the fort, opposite Sul- 
livan's Island, the batteries of this quarter combined with the 
first engaged. 

On board the first division of the squadron, the monitors 
Weehawken, Passaic, Montauk, and Patapsco, the twenty min- 
utes of action had been full of incident. But it became only 
t(w) evident that the defensive advantages of the armored ves- 
sels had been attained at the expense of their offensive power. 
How it must have chafed the spirits of those captains to be 
bound by machinery to fire only as the turret revolved, or to 
find it jammed and refusing to turn when they were ready to 
fire; to peep through little loopholes at the forts and much- 
dreaded obstructions ; to conduct signalling and sounding under 
niver of the turret, where that was found practicable! The 
Weehawken and Patapsco must each have been hit more than 
once per minute, while they did not, both together, fire as often 
a«once per minute. Between the two they managed to put in 
only eighteen shots in those twenty minutes ; and in the same 
period of time two of the eight heavy guns carried by this 
division had been disabled. 

It will be remembered that it was at twenty minutes past 


three the flagship signalled the squadron to disregard her eccen- 
tric movements. It was then that the four vessels of the second 
division felt at liberty to move to the front. At least fifteen 
minutes more were required for the leading monitor, Catskill, 
to get into action. The next in line, Nantucket, opened on 
Sumter at 3.50; the next, Nahant, about 4 o'clock became 
hotly engaged with both Sumter and Moultrie. The Keokuk, 
pushing ahead of her leading companions to a station reported 
variously at from six to nine hundred yards from Fort Sumter, 
opened fire ten minutes after the Nahant. 

Now, for the first time since the fight began, did the whole of 
the squadron become engaged. The forts and batteries also were 
firing with more steadiness and combined efiect than they had 
hitherto attained. Upward of one hundred of the heaviest can- 
non of all descriptions were flashing and thundering together, 
shooting their balls, their shells, and fiery bolts with deafening 
soimd and shocks of powerful impact that surpassed all previous 
experience of war. The smoke of the battle, brightened by the 
sun into snowy clouds, seemed to the distant observer entirely to 
envelop the small objects on the water which were causing all 
the trouble. Only when the light breeze availed to lift or part 
and roll away slowly the heavy masses could a glimpse be had 
of the movements of the squadron. The water all around the 
fighting ships was seen on nearer view to be constantly cut, 
ploughed, and splashed with every form of disturbance, from 
the light dip of the ricochet shot to the plunge of the point-blank 
missile, from the pattering of broken pieces of solid shot falling 
back from the imj)enetrable turrets to the sudden spout of foam 
and jet of spray sent up by a chance mortar-shell exploding 
just beneath the surface of the water. Sometimes from the 
same cause a waterspout raise<l near the fort would reach to a 
great height and throw its shower of descending spray upon the 
guns frowning over the para{)et or in the act of discharging their 
own messengers of defiance. 

The monitors of the first division needed all the help their 
comrades could bring them. The Passaic had been already 
taken out of action by Captain Drayton to the eastward, had 
come to anchor, and was inspecting damages. The Weehawken, 


after decliniDg to push against the obstructions with the raft 
brought for that very purpose, was holding back, but kept up 
a fire on the fort The Patapsoo must have run aground^ for 
tliat alone explains a stoppage attributed to obstructions where 
it is known certainly that none had ever been placed. Backings 
she got off, but had been held sufficiently long to receive special 
attention from the Confederate gunners. The Catskill^ coming 
to the front from the rear of the flagship^ passed some of the 
fir^t division in their damaged condition. Both this vessel and 
the Nantucket of the second division were warmly greeted by 
the forts, the latter losing the use of her X V-inch gun after the 
third discharge. But it was reserved for the last to be first, for 
the Nahant and the Keokuk, last in line, among the last to get 
into action, were the first to move up nearer to the enemy, to 
fight at shorter range than the rest and to suffer the conse- 

Commander John Downes took the Nahant into the hottest 
fire of the forts, but while he could fire only fifteen times his 
alert adversaries jammed his turret with three blows from heavy 
shot, put his steering-gear out of order, and caused his vessel to 
drift, unmanageable for a while, nearer to the forts than any of 
her colleagues, with the risk of being carried by the flood-tide, 
then setting in from the bar, upon certain destruction. By 
strenuous exertion a new arrangement was made for steering, 
and the ship was saved, but her guns could not be brought to 
bear, and she had to withdraw from action to repair damages. 

It fared still worse with the Keokuk. The defects of her 
build have been alluded to, and they must have been suspected 
at the time. But how serious they were remained to be proved 
by Commander Rhind's willingness to test to the utmost her 
fighting capacity. When the turn in the channel was reached 
he came " bow on *' to Fort Sumter, receiving the concentrated 
fire of all the guns that could be brought to bear fi*om that post 
and from Sullivan's Island. He was silenced after firing but 
three shots from the gun in his fon^-ard turret and none from 
the after one. The position taken seemed to him about five 
hundred and fifty yards from Sumter. To those in the fort it 
appeared to be hardly less than nine hundred yards. At the end 


of twenty-five or thirty minutes he was glad to escape without 
being captured or going down in the presence of his enemy. 
His vessel was struck ninety times in the hull and turrets. Nine- 
teen shots pierced her through at and just below the water-line. 
The turrets were entirely penetrated by rifle-bolts and 10-inch 
round shot. One of his turret-ports was closed by the blow of 
a shot jamming the shutter against the gun. Riddled a? she 
was, it is a matter of wonder how the Keokuk escaped with her 
engines in condition to take her slowly out of the fight. Kept 
afloat with difliculty that night, she sank at her anchorage off 
the southern part of Morris Island early next morning. 

Meanwhile, the order to withdraw from action had been issued. 
The hour, according to the rear-admiral, was 4.30 P. M., but 
Fleet-Captain C. R. P. Rodgers thought it nearly five o'clock 
when the signal was given. The firing of the squadron slack- 
ened and ceased, but the forts kept it up until the vessels passed 
out of extreme range, the last shots being fired by Battery Wag- 
ner, which had been silent up to this time. 

If little has been said thus far of the flagship it has been 
because there was little to be said. Inviting the aim of the 
enemy by her larger bulk, and distrusted more than the mon- 
itors by the rear-admiral, the New Ironsides was held at twice 
the distance of the other vessels from the fire of the forts — viz. 
at from fifteen hundred to more than two thousand yards. Once, 
toward the middle period of the fight, she was seen by the Con- 
federates to move up the channel as if to fight. But upon rt-- 
ceiving the special attention of Forts Moultrie and Sumter she 
returned, rather promptly, to her former station. She never fired 
a shot at Fort Sumter, but she did fire seven shots at Moultrie 
and one at Wagner. Although hit very often, she was entirely 
proof, at that long range, against the Confederate fire, and, as 
described by some one on board, the shot dropped from her 
sides like boys' brickbats from the roof of a house, her efficiency 
being not in the least impaired, either in her iron- or her wood- 

* In Ihe Military Operationji of General Be^mregard it is said: *' Fort Sumter 
cripples the New Ironsides." I have failed to find any authority for that 
incident. On the contrary, the endurance of this formidable ship of war was 


It must have been a solemn procession as it filed past the 
flagship that serene April evening. The first in action were 
the first to come out. After they had all passed the Ironsides 
got under way and followed them. It was then sunset^ and 
after dark the captains of the several vessels came on board the 
flagship to report to the rear-admiral. The Keokuk was ex- 
pected to go down at any moment. Her next in line, the 
Nahant, had both turret and pilot-house injured, the latter 
very much so, and the deck cut through in' places. The Wee- 
hawken, leading monitor, had her side-armor broken, exposing 
the wood, her turret stopped for a time, and her Xl-inch gun 
disabled. The Passaic, second in line, had her turret jammed, 
the Xl-inch gun disabled, and the pilotrhouse badly wrecked. 
The Patapsco's rifled gim had been silenced at the fifth fire, the 
upper {)art of her armor loosened, her turret temporarily stopped. 
The Nantucket lost the use of her XV-inch gun at the third 
fire. The Catskill received a severe hurt on the deck. The 
Montauk suffered two damaging hits among fourteen on her 
side-armor, and another blow on her pilot-house. 

The rear-admiral fully intended renewing the attack when 
he suspended it, but after hearing these reports and retiring to 
sleep over the question, he announced next morning his decision 
against renewal, for in his judgment " it would have converted 
a failure into a disaster.^^ In this decision he had the support 
of all the captains and commanders who had been engaged. 
But a harsh correspondence ensued between himself and the 
Secretary of the Navy, leading to DuPont's removal from 
command of the squadron, June 3, 1863, on account of his 
unwillingness to renew the attack. (Appendix F,, Ch. III.) It 
should be mentioned, in justice to the rear-admiral, that his own 
and his captains' official reports of the action were suppressed by 
the Secretary of the Navy for a period of eight months ; and 
it appears that even the Houses of Congress were not fully 
informed on the subject until they had called for them three 

proved live months later when, anchoring oif Sullivan's Island, she engaged 
all the batteries there at twelve hundred yards for nearly three hours, was hit 
8e?enty times, yet drew off unhurt and her captain (Rowas) reported no 
•hmages. (Appendix B.) 


times, and more than twelve months after the reports had been 
sent up to the Navy Department. This delay, exceedingly irri- 
tating to the officers in command, was explained by the Secre- 
tary as having been necessitated by prudential secrecy in the 
conduct of the war. (See Armat'ed Vesaeh, Exec. Doc.) 

The men-of-war continued at their anchorage, off* the south- 
ern end of Morris Island, for five days after the fight. Then, 
on the 12th of April, they crossed the bar and dispersed, the 
monitors going to Port Royal for repairs, the New Ironsides 
remaining with the blockaders, outside the bar. 

The Confederates took their success with a feeling of relief 
nearly as great as the joy of victory. They did not learn for 
months how severely the squadron had suffered ; they knew it 
had failed to meet expectations ; they did not know the morti- 
fication of defeat felt by its officers nor the storm of national 
displeasure raised by the Northern newspapers. They knew 
that the Keokuk had been sunk ; they did not know that three 
or four of her comrades had been disabled for several weeks 
after the action. 

How did Fort Sumter stand it? was the first question asked 
after the attack was ended. All observers in the garrison that 
afternoon will remember the prodigious size of those black 
spheres, fifteen inches in diameter, as they bounded in full view 
from the ])orts of the turrets to the walls of the fort. Even 
the Xl-inch shot were larger than any of the Confederate pro- 
jectiles. The powerful shocks given by these projectiles to the 
solid masonry of the fort was something new and could never 
be forgotten. The massive walls, piers, and arches seemed to 
tremble to their foundations. And when, especially, the bursts 
ing of the largest shells occurred ^t the moment of impact, the 
loosening, shattering effects attending the shock exceeded all 
expectations. But about the time when the men were becom- 
ing accustomed to the novelty of it the firing stopped, and they 
had opportunity to inspect damages. In a few places the effect 
of the fire was severe enough to convince that if continued by 
other injuries in the same vicinity it would become seriously 
destructive. But, as a whole, the fort had scarcely lost any 
of its fighting capacity or real efficiency. Had the fight been 





- S 



renewed next day, the fort could have done better than the 
day before, the armament being actually increased in weight 
on the sea-face by some removals and changes in the night. 

On the. exposed fronts were the marks of some thirty- 
four actual hits, mostly separate and distinct, but a few were 
combined by the effects of two or three shots striking near to- 
gether. There were some twenty other scars made by scaling, 
grazing, or bursting of shells, but these did no damage. In- 
deed, the real damage was done by only fifteen of the total 
number of hitting shots. Thus four embrasures w^ere injured, 
two were destroyed; a section of the parapet on the eastern 
flank was breached and loosened for a length of twenty-five feet, 
a part of the parapet even falling out and exjKising the gun 
behind it ; the scarp-wall of the same front was penetrated at 
the level of the second-tier embrasures (which had been filled 
in), and* where the wall, five feet thick, was of comparatively 
fresh material. These complete penetrations had been made by 
one Xl-inch and two XV-inch projectiles from the smoothbore 
guns. The penetrations elsewhere in the original well-set brick 
masonry of the fort were much less than was expected, averag- 
ing in depth from one foot to two and a half feet, and accom- 
panied with craters of about three feet in diameter. Particular 
craters, caused by more than one shot, were very serious hurts, 
one such measuring two feet seven inches in depth, six feet in 
height, and eight feet in width. The following tabulated state- 
ments will exhibit the firing and casualties on both sides : 

Confederate Posts. 

Kameb of Posts. 

Fort Sumter . . . 
Fort Moultrie - . . 
Battery Bee . . . 
Battery Beauregard 
Battery Gregg . . 

Battery Wagner .... 




















♦5 wounded. 

] killed. 



r 3 killed and 5 wounded 
\ by amdental explosion. 

4 killed, 10 wounded. 

Remarks. — ^The official report*? do not correspond in all particulars ; this 
statement is from a careful compilation. 



Of the total guns engaged, nearlj one-fourth were smoothbore 32-pounderB, 
of no Talue against armored vessels. 

Range, from 900 to 2000 yards. 

The killed were (Fort Moultrie), Private Lusby accidentally, by falling of 
flagstaff. The wounded at Fort Sumter, Sergeant Faulkner, Privates Chaplin, 
Mionix, Peun, and Ahrens. (For Battery Wagner, see Appendix.) 

Federal Vessels. 

Kaxsb op VawBiA 



received. ' v^u«iu«b. 




Patapsco . ..... 

New ironsides . . . . , 





















1 killed, 6 wounded. 

16 wounded. 


139 1 439 

1 killed, 22 wounded. 

Remarks.— These returns are taken from the Executive Document on 
Amoird Va»d%, with the exception of hits received by the New Ironsides, 
which were given by Rear- Admiral DuPont before the Committee on the 
Conduct of the War. (Vol. ii., 1865, Heavy Ordnance^ page 96.) 

Bange, from 550 to 2000 yards. 

From the above statement it appears that in an action lasting 
two hours and twenty minutes only 139 fires had been made by 
the vessels against 2206 made by the forts and batteries — that 
on board seven out of the nine vessels there were no casualties at 
all. Thus, it was rather a trial of strength than a sanguinary 
battle. Indeed, compared with the fighting of the iron-clad 
boats of Captain Elads's constniction the year before on the 
Cumberland and the Tennessee Rivers, when at Fort Henry 
they were victorious and at Fort Donelaan they were beaten, 
the attack on Fort Sumter was not made with the vigor or per- 
sistency that often distinguished the United States Navy, and 
pwticularly in forcing an entrance through torpedo obstructions 
"ito Mobile Bay the following year. 

Some of the captains engaged complained very grievously of 
the serious want of vision from the pilot-house, both on account 
^f the narrow openings there allowed them and on account of 
the heavy smoke enveloping the scene of action. And these 


complaints serve to explain the great discrepancy between the 
Union and Confederate estimates of range and obstructions.^ 

First, as regards the range, both sides agree as to the facts of 
the Nahant's coming in, or drifting in, the nearest of all, the 
Keokuk next, and the New Ironsides being the farthest of all 
from Fort Sumter. But when it is considered that the vessels 
labored under great disadvantages of vision, while the forts had 
the advantage of knowing the range of a buoy placed at the 
very turn in the channel M'here the action occurred, the conclu- 
sion is irresistible that the true estimate of ranges belongs to the 
defense rather than to the attack. 

Then, with regard to the obstructions seen by some of the 
more advanced monitors. More than one naval officer reported 
these as appearing to be very near or " close aboard." But they 
were certainly known by the Confederates to be upward of three 
or four hundred yards farther within the mouth of the harbor 
than any point reached by the Weehawken, the Nahant, or the 
Keokuk. They have been commonly mentioned as being on a 
line between Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie. This is a mis- 
take : they were originally placed between Sumter and Battery 
Bee on Sullivan's Island, but had dragged their anchors a little 
below the line of Battery Bee. They consisted of parts of a 
broken boom of heavy logs and of a few sections of rope-netting ; 
but there were positively no torpedoes among them or forward of 
them on that day ; and there was, moreover, an opening three 
hundred yards wide between them and Fort Sumter entirely 
clear of all obstructions. (See plates at end of volume.) 

The result of the action proved the readiness of the South, 
in at least one place, to meet the strongest effort of the United 
States Navy. She even proved herself more than equal to the 
latest inventions, offensive and defensive, in the art of war. 
The artillery fire of the forts, though by no means that of the 
heaviest guns of the day, was, for its power and accuracy, the 
subject of wonder to the oflRcers of the fleet and the war-cor- 
respondente on the station.* Never before had an attacking 

' Captains Turner, Drayton, and Worden, and Commander Ammen in their 
several reports make this very plain. 
' Much of its effectiveness was due to the superior quality of the powder 


naval force presented such very small objects as the monitors 
to the fire of the enemy. Mr. William Swinton, who was an 
eye-\vitne5s, quoting the remark of Sir Howard Douglass that 
" there is no telling what gunpowder can do," adds : " The rebel 
artillery practice certainly drew on its resources to an extent 
hitherto unparalleled in warfare. ... As one of the leading 
actions of the great rebellion the battle of Cliarleston harbor 
losses into history and takes its plac« there. As a contribu- 
tion to the world's experience in the art of iron-clad warfare 
it passes into science and opens an epoch there." 

manufactnred at the works in Augusta, Georgia, under Colonel (leorge W. 

" £ven when 8uj>p]ying tlie ui^gent calls of General Ripley at Charleston 
for cannon powder to replace the twenty-two thousand pounds consumed 
during the action with the iron-clad fleet, two days^ work nearly supplied 
tbat amount. 

"Notwithstanding the admirable serving of the heavy artillery at Fort 
^mter during that engagement, it would have fallen and Charleston been 
**ptured had any but the strongest gunpowder been used. The armor of 
^Ae iron-dads, though constructed expressly to withstand the heaviest charges 
*"** Pi^jectiles, gave way before its pn>pelling force."— {History of the Con- 
Mnt/e Powder- Works, Augusta, Ga., 1882.) 



April-May, 1863. 


• URES TO Destroy it, and Final Abandonment by the Fleet- 
Confederates* Plan for Recovery of the Guns— Mechanics, 
protected by Guardboats, attack the Iron-work of the Tlti- 
rets— Two Weeks Occupied in Getting the First Gun Ready 
FOR Hoisting — Hulk Prepaked and Towed down to the Wreck 
—Difficulties Increase— A Crisis Reached and Passed — The 
First Gun Recovered as Daylight was about to Defeat the 
Enterprise- The Second Gun Recovered Three Nights after- 
ward — The Confederate Wreckers Complimented by General 
Beauregard— The Admibal Blamed by the Authorities in 
Washington— Intercepted Siqnau3— Naval Tactics of the Con- 
federate Defense, 

Among the daring and successful episodes of the Civil War 
the recovery by the Confederates of the two guns from the wreck 
of the iron-clad vessel Keokuk deserves a place of the highest 
distinction. It was something entirely of its own kind, involv- 
ing mec^hanical skill and ingenuity, besides secrecy, cool judg- 
ment, and unflinching resolution. It is pleasant to add that 
it was attended with no casualties. 

Xo special documents, oiBcial and contemporary, relating to 
the enterprise have been discovered. A few paragraphs embod- 
ied in more general rejK)rts constitute all the notes possessed 
from Confederate sources, while some correspondence between 
the Union authorities is the sum of contributions from the 
other side. But of the actors in this marine adventure five 
have been consulted in the preparation of this narrative, and 
no particulars have been used to supplement the official record 



except such as rest on agreement of evidence or seem to be 
most probable under all the circumstances. 

For a knowledge of the Keokuk's construction, armament, 
and severe treatment by the Confederate guns in the action 
before Fort Sumter, April 7, 1863, when her brave commander 
took tlie vessel within shorter range than any of her col- 
leagues, reference must be made to Chapter II. of this work. 
Commander A. C. Rhind's report closes with the sinking of his 
riddled vessel at 7.30 the morning after the fight. She had 
been kept afloat during the night in the smooth water, but at 
daylight it became rough, and in the effort to get the vessel 
round with the assistance of a tug, she sank in eighteen feet 
of water (high tide), " completely submerged to the top of her 
smoke-stack. The officers and crew were all saved, the wound- 
ed having been put on board of a tug a few minutes before the 
Keokuk went down." At the latter period of the ebb-tide the 
turrets were just visible above water. The wreck lay off the 
southern extremity of Morris Island and about thirteen hun- 
dred yards from the beach. As plainly seen at low tide with 
the naked eye from the walls of Fort Sumter, it was distant 
nearlv four miles, a little east of south. 

It will be remembered that the iron-clad squadron remained 
at anchor in the same vicinity for five days afl«r the fight. In 
that time an order must have been given by the rear-admiral to 
Captain John Rodgers of the Weehawken to blow up the wre<;k 
by means of the Ericsson torpedo-raft,^ since that officer reports 
his prei>arations to use it in conjunction with Chief-Engineers 
E. D. Robie and A. C. Stimers, and their final abandonment of 
the purpose on account of the swell and uncontrollable action 
of the stnicture. What prevented the destruction of the wreck 
by simpler methods is not recorded. But the Navy Department 
in Washington asked this very question after the guns had been 
taken out by the Confederates, and the rear-admiral had no 
answer to give. (Appendix, Ch. III.) 

Soon aftier the withdrawal of the armored vessels from the 

* There were two of these rafts : one fell into the hands of the Confederates 
after Captain Bodgers on the 7th of April had cast it loose from the Wee- 


channel off Morris Island, where the Keokuk lay, three or four 
visits of reconnoissance were made to the wreck by Confederate 
officers in small boats. Two of these were naval officers, and 
they pronounced the recovery of the guns positively impossible.* 
But after the visit paid the wreck on April IGth by Lieutenant 
S. Cordes Boylstou, adjutant of the garrison at Fort Sumter, 
and another visit, April 19th, by Major D. B. Harris, Chief 
Engineer of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and 
Florida, steps were taken by Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley, 
commanding the First Military District, under instructions from 
General Beauregard, to organize a gang of mechanics with guard- 
boats for making the hazardous attempt. The following extract 
from Major Harris's report, April 23d, will give the best in- 
formation concerning the Keokuk as she appeared when he 
examined her: 

" Her turrets, within four and a half feet of their tops, had 
been pierced by four 10-inch round shot and one 7-inch rifle 
shot, and a wrought-iron Brooke bolt had penetrated seven- 
eighths of its length and stuck in the plating. Several severe 
indentations were also observed, near which tlie plates were 
warped and the bolts broken or started. The top of the smoke- 
stack (of sheet iron) was very much torn, and the bottom of it 
(of similar structure to the turrets) pierced by a lO-inch shot. 
The vessel having sunk in thirteen feet of water prevented an 
examination of the lower portions of her turrets or of her hull, 
which no doubt were served in like manner." 

About this time the Northern public was reading the opinion 
of some letter-writer in the fleet, that all was going on very well 
and that the work of recovering any spoils from the wreck 
would he a fruitless task. The war-correspondent writes: 

* letter of September 10, 1869, from General Beauregard to the author. 
There was^some notice by the fleet of a visit in daylight to the wreck paid, it 
18 likely, by Colonel Rhett and some of his officers, as appears from the follow- 
ing despatch, dated Fort Sumter, April 20, 1863 : 

"Captain Nance: The Yankee fleet fired at our boat at the wreck 
Keokuk. Confederate steamer Chicora eteamed out near the wreck, and is 
exchanging shots with fleet at long range. None of the fleet have crossed the 
bar. The Ironsides appears to be coming toward our boat. 

*• W. H. Peronneau, OaptainJ' 

Krigadicr-General R. S. RIPLEY, P. A. C. S., 

Commander First Military District S. C. 

From a Photograph. 

Entered U. S. Mil. Academy from Ohio— Graduated 1843; 

Brevet Capt. and Major of Artillery in Mexican War; 

Resigned from Army in 1853; 

In Command of Confederates at Fon Moultrie. S. C, April ia-14. 1861 

Brigadier-General Commanding First Mil. District S, C, 1862 63; 

Died 1587. 

• •••/•• * 

• • • •/ • • •" 
• -' • • • •• 


" An effort was made last night to blow up the Keokuk by 
Captain Rodgers, Lieutenant Mackenzie, Chief-Engineer Robie, 
and Chief-Engineer Newell of this ship, but without success. 
She was found to be full of sand, and it was impossible at that 
time to put the magazine of powder below her deck to blow her 
up. This morning an effort was made to fix on the raft, with a 
torpedo attached, to the bow of the Weehawken, but the sea was 
too rough inside, and aft^r breaking all the lashing repeatedly 
the effort was given up. To-night another attempt will be made 
to blow her up, and, as the weather is fair, it is likely to be suc- 
cessful. At all events, she is useless to the rebels. She is filled 
with sand, and will be broken up or buried after the first gale. 
The rebels cannot raise her, and she is covered by the guns of 
the blockading fleet, and will ever be beyond their reach." 

Before operations could be begun upon the wreck the com- 
manding officers were busied looking around and selecting the 
right kind of men for the undertaking. In the employ of the 
Ordnance Department was Adolphusi W. LaCoste, a native 
civilian, a rigger by trade, who had been for a long time ren- 
dering invaluable service in mounting heavy guns and perform- 
ing such-like duties. After long and special conference. General 
Beauregard placed him in charge of the work. All were agreed 
as to this selection, and even deferred entirely to his judgment 
in deciding finally to make the attempt. They felt then, as the 
sequel proved, that he was indispensable to them. 

Together with A. W. LaCoste a gang of picked men was 
organized, consisting of his brother, James C. LaCoste, Asa 
Butterfield, Jack Baker and Edwin Watson, colored, Philip 
Petrina, Laurence Brionwitch, Thomas Loftus, James Dugan, 
Edward Garden, John Garden ; the following being added from 
the garrison of Fort Sumter : Sergeant D. H. Welch, Company 
E, Sergeant Chambers, Artificer John E. Cullum, Company B, 
Private Thomas Durkin, Company B, and a few others whose 
names have not been preserved. With these skilled workmen 
it was necessary to combine a covering force, and Fort Sumter 
was called upon again to furnish an officer with a detachment in 
bai^ges to facilitate escape by gaining some little time with a 
show of resistance. 



The two turrets of the Keokuk, each armed with one Xl-ineh 
Dahlgren gun, w^ere of conical shape, having a lower diameter 
of twenty and an upper of fourteen feet These were exposed 
at low water, but so little that no more than two and a half 
hours' labor on eacli night could be expected under the most 
favorable circumstances. The enterprise was thus conditioned 
and limited by the following necessities : viz. darkness, secrecy, 
quiet, short time, smooth water, and perpetual vigilance. Morris 
Island was then entirely held by the Confederates, and escape 
from the wreck would have to be by a rapid pull for the beach, 
about thirteen hundred yards distant. Outside the bar were 
strung the blockading gunboats and their protector, the New 
Ironsides : the nearest of them might be on her station two 
miles off, but there was nothing to prevent their crossing the 
bar by day or night, while small armed boats might make a 
dash upon the wreckers at any time and capture every one of 
them. Later, when the force of workmen was increased and 
more was at stake, one or both of the Confederate iron-clads 
took a covering position in the vicinity of the party. 

The first thing to be done was to convey the workmen to 
the wreck with their tools, then push off and stand guard some 
distance out and down the channel in the small boat or boats 
provided. The party was for many nights under Adjutant 
Boylston, but occasionally he would be relieved by Lieuten- 
ants Julius M. Rhett and K. Kemper of the same regiment, 
First South Carolina (regular) Artillery. 

With slippery footing on the tops or roofing of the turrets, 
constantly awash with the swell of the ocean breaking over 
them, their scant clothing kept wet with the salt spray, and 
no light allowed them, the mecJianics bend themselves to the 
work. The first turret is attacked with sledge and chisel, 
wrench and crowbar, for nothing less than the removal of a 
large section of the roof will satisfy Jthem, sufficient to allow 
the lifting and free passage of a gun thirteen feet five inches 
long, nearly three feet in diameter at the breech, and weighing 
sixteen thousand pounds. 

Two thicknesses of inch or inch and a half iron, held up 
by girders of the same material set clase together, and ceiled 


on the under side with one thickness of iron plate, constituted 
the first obstacles to be overcome. Besides the upper and lower 
plating, three of the heavy girders had to be cut through, each 
in two places, and removed. Then the gun, seen below on its 
carriage, mostly under water, could not be made ready for lift- 
ing until two massive cap-squares of brass confining it to the 
carriage were cut and wrenched out of place. The elevating 
screw, removed from the cascal)el, gives place to a strong rope 
or hawser passed through the cascabel and wrapped around 
the breech of the gun with lashings sufficient to sling it to 
the hoisting tackle. 

LaCoste had all now in readiness for the crowning act. The 
gun hail been prepared for him by the artificers, who labored 
at finst a whole week in cutting through the roof, and were fur- 
ther delayed by the difficulties encountered within the turret. 
Alt<^her, more than two weeks were consumed in cutting 
through both turrets and in getting the first gun ready to he 
hoisted out of its watery bed. The spirit of the brave fellows 
rose with the perils they were encountering and the success that 
had thus far rewarded them. On one night only were they dis- 
covered by the enemy and forced to hurry away from the wreck ; 
but even then no unfavorable results followed, and it appeared 
probable that neither their earnest purpose nor their actual work 
for the recovery of the gims was suspected. The war-crorre- 
spondent's confidence must have been shared by the whole fleet. 

Yet, while more hopeful than when they began, the wreckers 
knew that the most uncertain stage of their operations was to 
come. They knew that success meant nothing short of seeing 
those guns on their way to Charleston. But the hoisting out 
of their enormous masses from the turrets, — how was this to be 
a(tx)mplished ? When the final preparations for the removal 
of the first gun were completed, a favorable night in the early 
part of May was chosen, and a carefully-planned expedition 
to the wreck set out from . the city, stopping at Fort Sumter 
on its way down the harbor. 

An old but solid hulk, a lightship formerly in use at Rat- 
tlesnake Shoal, north of the harbor, was made ready for the 
hoisting and transporting of the guns to the city. From the 


bow projected two outriggers of timber fourteen inches square 
and twenty feet long, arranged with blcxiks, stays/ and tackle 
ready for the work, while, to suit the necessity of a lift from 
the low level of the submerged guns in the wreck, the bow 
was weighted down with fifteen hundred sandbags, destine*! 
to play, subsequently, a yet more important part in the exe- 
cution of the plan. 

Then it became necessary to provide more force and more 
protection than heretofore, for the crisis of the enterprise had 
at length arrived. The Navy Department was called on to 
furnish the valuable services of one or both of its two iron- 
clad gunboats — the Chicora, Captain J. R. Tucker, and the 
Palmfttto State, Lieutenant-commanding John Rutledge — to take 
their station in the main channel and guard the working-partiy. 
This protection was increased by another detachment of fifty 
men from Fort Sumter, and the whole force, with the lightship, 
w«as then towed down to the wreck by the transport-fiteanier 
V. Etiwan, Captain \V. T. McNelty, whose courage and faithful- 
ness in the nightly supplying of Morris Island and Fort 
Sumter became afterward so conspicuous. 

Secrecy and despatch were never more the requisites of success 
than at this juncture. The Union fleet lay outside, and even 
some of thoir small boats on picket-duty could be descried from 
the deck of the Etiwan. But so lulled into confidence were 
they that no interruption whatever occurred from this quarter. 
Tlie background of the sandhills of Morris Island must have 
obscured and favored the movements of the Confederates. 

On reaching the wreck the hulk of the lightship was made 
fast to the nearly submerged turret, and then besjan the earnest 
work of the night. Lieutenants Boylston and Rhett were there 
in command of the detail from their regiment, but they all ac- 
corded to LaCoste the directing of the delicate oi)erati(ms, and 
vied with each other in encouraging their men to render him 
obedience with a good will and a pull all together. With the 
slinging of the gun safely effected came the order to hoist awav, 
the men on the lightship responding cheerily, though with the 

^ These were attached to a jury-mast stepped in place of the foremast of 
ihe lightship. 


hush of caution, to their comrades waist-deep in water within 
the iron turret. The strain begins, the stout ropes tighten, tlie 
block slowly rises ; then the massive breech of the gun appears, 
inch by inch, above the level of the roofing, the muzzle yet 
hanging far down below it and splashed by the swell of sea- 
water. The same swell outside the turret was making every- 
thing on board the hulk unsteady, save the earnest, lively pull 
of the men and the dauntless spirit of their leaders. Stick to it 
as they did, the task was a heavy one, the progress slow, the 
operation very delicate. 

The muzzle of the gun, as was said, was hanging down within 
the turret, while the heavy breech, hoisted out and clear, was at 
this stage swaying and swinging freely with the roll of the light- 
ship. Had the contrivance been higher above the water, the 
capacity of its blocks and tackle would have been suiBcient for 
all purposes ; but already the two blocks were nearly touching 
each other, and the falls could do no more toward pulling the 
muzzle free of the turret There it sloped down to the water, 
grating and grinding upon the edge of the iron roofing, but 
refiising to be dislodged by any further application of muscular 
strength. Equal to the emergency, LaCoste was not to be 
thwarted, but, looking a moment to the bow of the hulk, 
weighted down with sandbags in order to reach the lowest 
level of the hoist, he resorted tp what he hoped would give 
him instant success. 

" Sliift the deck-load, boys ! Handle those sandbags ! Pass 
them to the stem !" were orders uttered with earnestness and 
obeyed with alacrity. The men made fast their rope, and sprang 
to the bow, where the bags of sand, piled up by hundreds, awaited 
their removal. As they were taken off, the bow, heaving with 
the tide and becoming more buoyant every minute, gradually 
responded to the lightening of its load and the lifting force now 
exerted by the weighting down of the opposite end of the boat. 
The gun is plainly rising : it is almost clear ; another minute 
ani it promises to swing free from the restraining edge of the 
Keokuk's turret. But no, not yet ! The last bag of sand has 
been traasferred from bow to stern, and human ingenuity can 
do no more. 


How must those hardy men have felt as they paused from 
their work to consider again wliat could be done — ^some vexed 
to see their prize, so long toiled for^ about to be snatched from 
their grasp ; others chilled with forebodings of failure and dis- 
heartened by disappointment until almost ready to give up all 
for lost ! Adding to the embarrassment of the enterprise, the 
first streaking of the eastern sky with the early dawn was now 
discovered. The Confederate gunboat was now coming in. The 
transport Etiwan hailed to know if all was ready. Still the great 
gun was swaying in its sling from side to side, but with the tip 
of its long muzzle lodged upon the turret, as if resisting to the 
last its own capture by the enemy. 

Not a moment was to be lost. Who would give the order to 
cut loose the prize? Every one shrank from it. Yet what else 
remained to be done ? 

Suddenly, to their relief, there came at this instant a friendly 
wave from the ocean, swelling landward and lifting the hulk 
higher than before, lifting the spars and blocks, lifting the muzzle 
of the gun free from its detaining lodgment, and lifting the 
hearts of all those waiting men from the depths of painful sus- 
pense to joy and satisfaction. They could give no cheers in 
such close proximity to the enemy, but loud murmurs of glad 
congratulation passed from one to another. Never did morning 
dawn upon lighter spirits as they saw themselves free at last to 
return to the city with their well-earned trophy. The cheers 
they had Ixjen forced to suppress were presently given with a 
bui-st as they replied to the garrison of Fort Sumter and the 
batteries of the harbor, cheering them as they passed in broad 
daylight on their way to the city. 

But little remains to be told concerning the recovery of the 
Keokuk's guns. Practice makes perfect all the world over. In 
three nights more the second gun was made ready for hoisting ; 
the weather was favorable ; the same force of men and means 
of transportation were employed, and the same success, without 
any delays or drawbacks, crowned their efforts. In the absence 
of Adolphus LaCoste, owing to severe sickness incurred from 
exposure, his brother James had entire charge of the gang on 


this last oocasioD, while Lieutenant Kemper commanded the 

The papers in Charleston announced on May 6th the complete 
recovery of the guns. And as the enterprise must have been 
entered upon soon after Major Harris's visit to the wreck on 
April 19th, an official date, it is fair to conclude that tlie work 
occupied about three weeks. Certainly it was well done, and 
deeerves to be held in remembrance. At the time it was com- 
pUmented with special mention in the reports of General Beau- 
r^ard and Brigadier-General Ripley. And it will be only a 
degenerate race in future years that will let it be forgotte n. 

In a short while after they were landed in Charleston the guns 
were again under transportation, this time to be used for the de- 
fense of the harbor which they had once been brought to attack. 
One was mounted on the walls of Fort Sumter at the eastern 
angle of the barbette battery, continuing there and firing thence 
until the night of the iron-clad attack, September lst-2d. This 
gun was subsequently brought back to the city and placed in 
Batter)' Ramsay at White Point Grarden, where it remained up 
to the evacuation. The other was mounted in Battiery Bee, Sul- 
livan's Island, took part in the severe action of September 8th, 
and kept its place there to the last. They were the heaviest 
guns in the harbor, with the exception of two (English) Blakeley 
rifles that were of very little account because of the inferiority 
of their projectiles. These failed generally to take the grooves, 
and would tumble like nail-k^, without ever attaining their 
proper range. 

By the skill, daring, and perseverance of a few dauntless men 
Charleston became possessed of two of the proudest and most 
formidable trophies of the war. They had been abandoned by 
the Union Navy, then pronounced irrecoverable by the Confed- 
erate Navy, but finally, with great risk and labor, they wore 
raised and turned against their former owners. It is no wonder 
that Mr. Welles, the Secretary, should have closed one of his 
despatches to Rear- Admiral DiiPont with these words : *' The 
wreck and its important armament ought not to have been 
abandoned to the rebels, whose sleepless labors appear to have 
secured them a valuable prize.^' {Armored Vesseh, p. 108.) 


An Imperfect Blockade. 
Port of Charleston, 8. C, April and May, 1863 : 15 vessels 
entered, 21 cleared; 10,003 bales of cotton exported. Total 
receipts customs = $138,520. 

CoUedor^s Office, 1 W. F. Colcock, 

Charleston, June 3, 1863. / Collector. 

{War Records, vol. xiv. p. 961.) 

Intercepted Signals. 

As early as April 9, 1863, signals from the flagship New Iron- 
sides were read by the Confederates on Morris Island. General 
Beauregard reported the discovery of a key to the Union signals 
in his despatch of April 13th to the War Department in Rich- 
mond. {War Records, vol, xiv.) The first advantage taken 
of the discovery was in preparation for the second assault 
of Wagner. {War Records, vol. xxviii. Pt. ii. p. 207.) It 
appears from the records that a despatch, probably from General 
Gillmore to Brigadier-General Seymour, was read by Sergeant 
Millard of the C. S. Signal Corps on Sullivan's Island July 18, 
1863, and, being forwarded to General Beauregard's head-quar- 
ters, it was at once understood as signifying that an assault on 
Battery Wagner was in actual preparation.* Accordingly an 

' Sullivan's Island, July 18, 1863, 4.55 p. m. 
Captain W. F. Nance : 
The following message has been intercepted : 


" Keep your infantry under arms ; the men must remain in line. The island 
is filled with straprglers. Send a staff officer to brigade commanders. How 

large is your supporting column? G , 

" General:' 
Sergeant Signal (hrps, 

Sullivan's Island, July 18, 1863. 
Colonel Rhett: 
The following message has just been intercepted from the enemy, to wit: 

"An assault is ordered at dusk. Husband your ammunition, so as to deliver 
a rapid fire the last half hour. Turner." 

Lawrence M. Keitt. 
( Repeated by Major O. Blandlng to Captain Nance.) 

( War Records^ vol. xxviii. Pt. i. p. 454.) 


order was sent immediately to Brigadier-General Ripley to ex- 
tend notice and have "all practicable preparations made'' to 
repel the assault. Colonel A. Rhett, commanding Fort Sumter^ 
informed the author that he heard and responded to the intelli- 
gence by training some fifteen of his barbette guns and mortars 
on Morris Island^ and tliat they opened promptly and effectively 
npon the assaulting column over the heads of the garrison in 

Brigadier-General W. B. Taliaferro, commanding the Confed- 
erate troops on Morris Island (July 18th), says that he has no 
recollection of having ever been notified of this intercepted sig- 
nal.^ But it is highly probable that he was, and that in the stir 
of preparation already b^un at Wagner with the close of the 
day and the slackened bombardment such a notice seemed to 
him at the time scarcely necessary to put him on his guard. 

Again, the attack by troops in small boats on Cumming's 
Point, Morris Island, on the night of September 6, 1863, was 
made known beforehand to the Confederates by intercepted 

So also the naval assault with small boats on Fort Sumter 
on the night of September 8th-9th was expected, by reason 
of the discovery of a signal from Dahlgren's flagship read 
and reported from the deck of the Ohioora within Charleston 

" The parts of a signal-book " washed ashore on Morris Island 
from the wreck of the Keokuk, and " picked up on the beach " 
April 8th by Colonel Graham (War Records^ vol. xiv. p. 890), 
had nothing to do with the discovery of the key. The signal- 
officer to whom this book was referred, T. Pinckney Lowndes 
of Charleston, informs the author that it was only a code for 
nautical purposes. The real discovery w^as made through the 
ingenuity of Captain Pliny Bryan, A. A. G., who, under orders 
fix)m General Beauregard, obtained it by a 7'use de gtien^e prac- 
tised successfully upon a prisoner who had been brought in from 
one of the enemy's advanced signal-stations on the coast. Cap- 
tain Bryan was from Maryland, an intelligent and zealous oflScer, 

* Philadefphia Times, November 11, 1882. 
*Hidory of tins Confederate Navy, Scharf, p. 700. 


who, after much active service, died in 1864. (Military Opera- 
tions of Beauregard, vol. ii. p. 164.) 

There were constant difficulties and uncertainties in the read- 
ing of the Union despatches by the Confederate signal corps ; 
which fact operated to lessen considerably the advantages of the 
discovery of the key. At Fort Sumter one of the signal corps, 
T. Pinckney Lowndes, was the first to read a message of the 
enemy, and the distinction cost him the arduous, as well as 
responsible, duty of watching for them without relief for three 
or four days and nights consecutively. 

Plans for Naval Torpedo Wabfare. 

General Beauregard was anxious to arrange with the naval 
forces in Charleston harbor a night-attack upon the iron-clad 
squadron before it left the channel after the fight of the 7th of 
April. A conference was held between Captain John R. Tucker, 
Lieutenant W. A. Webb, and himself on the 10th of April, and 
out of it grew a plan that was to have been tried on the night 
of the 12th, but which was defeated by the departure of the 
monitors that day. The plan was to collect "spar-torpedo 
rowboats " in the rear of Cumming's Point, Morris Island, to 
coast quietly along the front beach to a point nearest the ene- 
my's position, and then, making a dash, the boats should 
attack by twos any monitor or ironsides they could discover. 
The boats, fifteen in number, were made ready under Lieuten- 
ant W. H. Parker, but did not leave the harbor. 

As the experiments made with these "spar-torpedo row- 
boats/' by Captain F. D. Lee of the Engineers had been highly 
successful, it must have been very disappointing to the general 
commanding to have delay prove fatal to his project. Again, 
the day after the monitors left another plan was urged by the 
general on Captain Tucker, this time to run down and sink the 
New Ironsides by a combined attack of the Confederate iron- 
clads and the spar-torpedo boats. Whether anything came of 
this project or not the records do not tell. So far as designs on 
the New Ironsides were concerned, nothing was done by the 
navy until Lieutenant W. T. Glassell's gallant but ineffectual 
attempt in October following. (See Appendix B.) 


But a flotilla of small boats was maintained for torpedo 
service. First organized under Lieutenant William A. Webb, 
C. 8. N., as a " special expedition '' against the monitors before 
their arrival off the harbor, it passed into the hands of Lieuten- 
ant W. G. Dozier, C. S. N. Under his command, boats for 
torpedo-service were kept ready all through the ensuing sum- 
mer, and should be remembered among the many defenses of 
the harbor of Charleston. 

It was out of this flotilla that material was gathered for an 
expedition with torpedo-boats against some of the monitors 
lying in North Edisto Entrance, near Rockville, on Wadma- 
law Island. It was on May 10th that Captain W. H. Parker, 
C. S. N., having Lieutenant Glassell for second in command, 
took through Wappoo Cut into Stono, and down to Edisto, 
six small torpedo-boats. They were secretly and successfully 
placed in the best position from which to dash upon the moni- 
tors. Everything was in the most favorable train and condition 
when it was discovered that a deserter had made his way to the 
CDemy's vessels and given them notice of their danger. Noth- 
ing remained to be done but to bring the boats back with secrecy 
to Charleston. And this was effected with the co-operation 
of Brigadier-General J. Hagood, who, commanding in that 
district^ furnished the expedition with wagons for the overland 
passage of the boats from Edisto to Stono. (See ReeoUedions 
of a Naval Officer y by Captain William Harwar Parker.) 



April 12-July 16, 1803. 

The Departing Monitors Saluted by Fort Sumter— They Escape 
Attack prepared tor them with Small Boats carrying Spar- 
torpedoes — Working-Partis engaged Day and Night filling 
Casemates on Sea-face of Fort Sumter with Sand excavated 
FROM THE Parade— Fortifications of Morris Island — IT n ion 
Works secretly Constructed on Northern Extremity of Folly 
Island— Confederates Shell the Working-parties, June 10th, 
from Southern End of Morris Island— Reduction of General 
6eauregard*s Troops around Charleston against his Earnest 
Remonstrance—Brigadier-General Gillmore and Rear-Ad- 
miral Dahixjren assume Command op the Union Forcks — Small 
Force of Artillery and Infantry on Morris Island under 
Coix)NEL Graham— On July 10th, Brigadier-General Strong, 


Southern End of Morris Island, after a Heavy combined Can- 
nonade (Land and Naval) for Several Hours— Confederates 
Abandon their Works with Loss, and Fall back upon Batteries 
Wagner and Gregg— On the Same Day Union Troops demonstrate 
IN Force on James Island and on the Savannah Railroad by 
Expedition up the Edisto River — On the Morning of July 11th 
AN Assault on Battery Wagner repulsed with Considerable 
Loss — The Confederates Entertain Plans of Rrpelling the 
Invaders, but upon Discussion in Council decide to Maintain 
the Defensive. 

The departure of the monitors was a subject of sincere re- 
joicing. As long as they kept their anchorage inside the bar 
the issue was felt to he undecided, for enough had been done 
by them on April 7th to create a profound respect, however 
short of expectation the attack had fallen. As the squadron 
was seen to depart on the 12th, Fort Sumter's garrison was 
turned out for dress-parade, the flags were all raised, and a 



salute of thirteen guns was fired in honor of the event. The 
defenders of Charleston harbor received a vote of thanks from 
the Legislature of South Carolina, then in session at Columbia. 
It had become well known in the fort that the injuries received 
in the late fight were neither great nor numerous. But it was 
feared that the " iron-clads " might attempt to run the gauntlet 
bv night, or even by day, and so pass the guns they could not 
silence.* The defensive works of Sullivan's Island, and espe- 
cially those of the inner harbor, were verj' far from having 
then the superiority they attained in the next few months. 
Once past these, the squadron could inflict great injury on the 
city and destroy some of its communications. 

Had two facts been known at this time, the demonstrations 
of public joy would have been much greater. One of these 
was the "naval scare" that it was possible to convey by a lib- 
eral exhibition of barrel-floats suggestive of torpedoes, obstruc- 
tions, and what-nots, real or unreal, as the case might be. The 
other was the severity of the damage done to the vessels. It 
has been shown how the North was long denied full official 
information, and, as it happened, even the newspaper accounts 
could reach the South but f^lowly. When, at length, the truth 
l^n to be known, the feeling in Charleston harbor was ani- 

OpJnion of General Beauregard in the Philnddphi/L Weeklu Time*: 
*U is pertinent for me. professionally, to remark that had the Feileral 
naval attack on Fort Sumter of the 7th of April, 18«3, lieen mnde at night, 
while ilie fleet could have easily approached near enough to see the fort— 
* large, lofty object covering several acres — the monitors, wh!ch were rela- 
tively so small and low on the water, could not have been seen from the fort. 
It would have been impossible, therefore, for the latter to have returned 
with any accuracy the fire of the fleet; and this plan of attack could have 
wen repeated every night until the walls of the ft>rt should have crumbled 
under the enormous missiles which made holes two and a half feet deep in 
tlie walls and shattered the latter in an alarming manner. T could not then 
have repaired during the day the damages of the night, and I am confident 
DOW, as I was then, that Fort Sumter, if thus attacked, must have been dis- 
abled and silenced in a few days. Such a result at that time would have 
been necessarily followed by the evacuation of Morris and SuUivun^s Islands, 
and soon after of Charleston itself, for I had not yet had time to complete and 
irm the system of works, including James Island and the inner harbor, which 
enabled ns six months later to bid defiance to Admiral Dahlgren's powerful 
fleet and Gillmore's strong land-forces." 


mated enough, but the glow of it had departed with tlie first 
flush of victor}'. 

The work of making Sumter stronger was at once begun. 
Where the wall of the sea-front had been cracked at some of 
the embrasures of the lower tier and penetrated at the upper-tier 
casemates, and especially at the broken parapet about the middle 
of the barbette battery, a heavy backing of sand, revetted with 
sandbags, was immediately supplied under direction of the as- 
sistant engineer in charge, Edwin J. White. The armament of 
the same battery was increased by the addition, the very night 
after the battle, of two 10-inch columbiads in substitution for 
two 9-inch Dahlgrens, removed to another face of the work. A 
heavy traverse of sandbags was in place on the same front by 
the morning of the 9th, and the tei^replein and arches over the 
magazines were strengthened by sandbags. To relieve the gar- 
rison of so much extra work large details of from one to two 
himdred men of the Forty-sixth Georgia volunteers were ordered 
to the post, and rendered valuable assistance in fatigue duty for 
several days and nights. 

Well-considered reports had by this time been made by the 
engineers as to the damages and the changes proposed for their 
repair. (See Appendix.) Major Wm. H. Ixihols reported a 
full account of the action, and accompanied it with a map and 
several drawings, among them elevations of the eastern and 
north-eastern fronts, showing all the shot-marks received in the 
attack. This was still further made clear by a figured key and 
description of the several marks. Major D. B. Harris, chief 
engineer of the Department, also reported, both in conjunction 
with Major Echols and with Major-General Gustavus W. Smith, 
acting then on General Beauregard's staff" and visiting the fort 
for inspection. General Smith sent in a brief memorandum to 
department head-quarters stating, among other things, that " the 
efficiency of the fort was not impaired by the recent bombard- 
ment ;" which was strictly true, so far as the fire of the fort was 
concerned and its readiness to meet another attac^k the next day 
with heavier metal than it had already done. Major Harris 
recommended the filling with sand of all the casemates on the 
sea-front, both upper and lower ; and this was with great labor 


effected. His advice that this filling should be extended also to 
the casemates of the north-eastern face was never carried out : 
sand was too precious and labor had to be economized ; the sequel 
proved it unnecessary. 

All parties agreed upon the importance of protecting the mag- 
azines, particularly from the reverse fire of the squadron directed 
on what might be called the diagonal lines of the fort. It was 
accordingly ordered that the upper magazines should be at once 
abandoned, so as to fill over the arches of the lower ones, and 
that these latter should be further protected by reinforcing walls 
of brick without, on the gorge, in continuation of the stone 
masonry already there, and within on the parade, where the 
ventilators were large and the walls were thinner than elsewhere. 
These important orders were executed within the next month, 
and their wisdom was entirely vindicated. 

But the greatest difficulty remained in the question how to 
strengthen the parapet and secure the most valuable guns of the 
fort, those en barbette. Sand could do much for the casemates, 
but neither sand nor anything else could be put on the interior 
of the parapet without sacrificing the best guns. An experi- 
ment was made of suspending compressed bales of cotton, sat- 
urated with water, over the exterior of the parapet by ropes and 
eye-bolts let into the masonry. It was expected that a bale 
would be easily displaced by a shot, but there was hope that 
much of the severity of the blow would be relieved before the 
brickwork could be reached, and the displaced bales could then 
be easily renewed. The essay proved a failure ; for the cotton, 
rapidly drying in the ripped and exposed parts of the bale, 
caught ^ire from the blast of the guns fired over it.* The bales 
were all removed, and shortly after used for filling in the officers' 
quarters on the gorge, where, laid wet in sand, they did inval- 
uable service by their bulk and resistance. 

' A better plan, suggested by General Beauregard, but never carried out, 
woold have been to use compressed bales of green moss ( TUlandsia uaneoidejt)^ 
the ]ong, trailing mots so common on the coast of the South Atlantic. Gun- 
boats in running past the batteries of the Western rivers, particularly at 
Vicksburg, found protection from hanging logs and even bales of wet hay 
over their sides, as chains also have often been employed for the same 


Meanwhile, the greatest activity prevailed at the fort. The 
engineers kept a force of one hundred and thirty blacks, together 
with a gang of white mechanics and some details from the gar- 
rison, busily employed in unloading materials and various works 
of construction. The particular duties of the garrison, however, 
were with their own offensive preparations. The batteries, inider 
the direction of their skilled artillerists, Brigadier-Grcnenll Ripley 
and Colonel Rhett,were put in the finest condition, and arranged 
so as to deliver at each point a fire of maximum efficiency. But 
except one of the Xl-inch guns recovered ffom the wreck of the 
Keokuk, Fort Sumter could not find, in all the Confederacy, any 
metal heavier than that used for its defense on the 7th of April. 

During this period the fort was frequently visited by officers 
on leave, by citizens, and even ladies, to see the scars of the late 
fight, or, in the midst of bustling preparations, to admire the 
regularity of the batteries and the perfection of the drill. But 
the area of the parade, so long kept in faultless order, was now 
quite broken up and tumbled with the pits and diggings of the 
working-parties or encumbered by plankways and wheelbarrows. 
From this parade, as from a treasury, was procured the sand 
used in filling the casemates and covering the magazines, until, 
more than four feet of depth having been excavated, it was 
found necessary to bring the material by night, bagged or loose, 
in flats towed from the city. 

Before long twelve lower and thirteen upper casemates on the 
sea-front had been filled with sand, retained both outwardly 
adjoining the scarp, and on the rear toward the interior of the 
fort, by a sloping revetement of sandbags coated with coal-tar. 
It will aid in appreciating the magnitude of this work to bear 
in mind that the casemates of the lower tier were arched cham- 
bers each ten feet ten inches high, and those of the upper tier 
nuicli larger, being three feet higher. Brick masonry also was 
pressed at this time to complete the protection of the magazines 
on both the exterior of the gorge and on the side of the parade 
within the fort. A start was made with several courses of hea\7' 
timber to construct a grillage or cribwork, to be filled with 
stone ballast, on the berme of the sea-front. Here, as on four 
sides of the fort, the enrockment at high-water mark afforded a 


desce:ht of the union akmy on morris island. 81 

level base of ten feet for the erection of what would have helped 
materially to protect the lower casemates, already closed and 
filled. But this work was never raised higher than five feet 
along the berme of the sea-front ; then the timber, being needed, 
was removetl for other and more important purposes within the 
fort. A heavy, continuous battering from land-guns, such as 
the fort afterward suffered, would have made short work of the 
grillage; but no attack of such kind was then apprehended: 
preparations were made only against another attack from the 
armored vessels. 

The proximity of Morris Island could never have given any 
concern to the militarj' board charged with the original planning 
of Fort Sumter. The principle then (1829) must have been — 
the fort commands the island ; and even after the developments 
at Fort Pulaski* in Georgia, in the spring of 1862, it must have 
been hard to entirely eradicate the principle from the minds of 
the old school. It was now about to be greatly modified, and, 
in the sequel, entirely reversed. 

Cumming's Point of Morris Island had for some time been 
occupied by a substantial sand-battery, designed as an outwork 
of Sumter, to protect its gorge from a fire coming from the main 
ship-channel, as well as from the land side of Morris Island and 
the creeks between Morris and James Islands. It carried two 
heavy guns of 9- and 10-inch calibre and some lighter ones. 
This work was "Battery Gr^g." Its distance from Sumter 
was 1390 yards. From this point the island, a mere strip of 
low .sandy hillocks, continues flat, narrow, and 0[)en to view for 
one half its entire length of nearly four miles. The southern 
half widens, and ris«4 in sandhills of from thirty to forty feet 
above tide. Within the range of Fort Sumter's guns, 2780 
yards distant, and located immediately to command the nar- 
rowest part of the island, " Battery Wagner " extended across 
from one water's edge to the other, with a front of 250 yards, 
and was destined to play a prominent historical part of its own 
as the principal advanced work of Fort Sumter. 

Originally selected by order of Brigadier-General R. S. 
Ripley, the site of this work was afterward shiflx?d and its 

I* Breached at a distance of 1650 yards after twelve hours' firing. 


dimensions greatly increased.* The occasion of this remodelling 
was the evacuation of Cole's Island by the Confederates in the 
spring of 1862, by order of Major-General J. C. Pemberton, 
then commanding the department. The oj^ening of such a 
favorable base for the enemy to operate from in Stono, either 
against Morris Island or James Island, directly adjacent to 
Charleston, was warmly opposed by Brigadier-General Ripley, 
commanding the First Military District, and severely condemned 
by public opinion at the time. General Pemberton, however, 
proceeded to onler the enlargement of Battery Wagner on Morris 
Island and the building of Battery Bee on Sullivan's Island, 
two of the most prominent works in the future defense of the 

"Batter}' Wagner," as it was always known to the Confed- 
erates, came to be called by the Federals a " fort " after its repu- 
tation had been made by its stubbora resistance.' While its 
chief purpose was to keep an enemy approaching from the vSouth- 
ern end of Morris Island beyond breaching-distance of Fort 
Sumter, its exposure to a heavy naval fire on its left^ flank 
required its two fronts to be so planned as to protect each other. 
Additional improvements were ordered by General Beauregard. 
Two or three heavy guns were now placed on the channel side 
and from ten to twelve lighter guns on the land side. A well- 
protected magazine, heavy traverses, and a bomb-proof thirty 
by one Inmdred and thirty feet completed the defensive ar- 
rangements. The gorge was closed with a parapet for infan- 
try fire. Morris Island, thus covered by the guns of Sumter, 
Gregg, and Wagner as far to the southward as the middle 
region of its extent, needed further protection for its south- 
ern extremity. 

In abandoning operations after the repulse of the 7th of April 

* From a point about a hundred yards in advance of this work the first hos- 
tile shotM in the war liad been fired at the steamer Star of the West, prevent- 
ing her from supplying Fort Sumter, Janujiry 9, 1861. 

* General Beauregard, in reporting to Richmond, September 30, 18(53, says: 
"Battery Wagner was not * a work of the most formidable kind,' but an ordi- 
nary tield-work with thick parapets, but with ditches of little depth." Gen- 
eral Gillmore contende<i always that it was "formidable," on account of its 
approaches as well as its plan and armament. 


the Federals had continued to occupy and control, from Stono 
Inlet, the whole of Folly Island next south of Morris Island. 
A force of about 5000 men under Brigadier-General I. Vodges 
had constructed strong works upon it "at the south end and 
about two miles from the north end," and a military road ten 
miles long communicated with all parts of the island. -The 
position was a strategic one of the highest importance. A naval 
force of two gunboats and a mortar-schooner, stationed in Stono 
Inlet and Folly River, co-operated directly with the brigade. 
The northern extremity of Folly, subject to being cut off by 
tidal overflow, became known as Little Folly Island. Here the 
Federal pickets watched the Confederates, separated by Light- 
house Inlet, some five hundred yards wide. 

As early as the 10th of Mardi, some weeks prior to the attack 
of the iron-clad squadron on Fort Sumter, General Beauregard 
ordered the southern end of Morris Island to be fortified. This 
was, therefore, before the occupation of Folly Island by the 
enemy. Brigadier-General Ripley reminds the commanding 
officer (May 24th) that although "there are now seven guns, 
of which four command the cro&sing at Lighthouse Inlet, they 
are all badly prepared for service." Thinking to improve the 
rftuation, Ripley acts for himself (June 1st), and puts Captain 
John C. Mitchel of the First South Carolina Artillery in charge 
of construction.' 

Some of the works were then completed, so that Mitchel 
opened on Folly Island on the 12th of eTune, and continued to 
fire in a desultory way while the Federals, making no reply, but 
working like beavers, after the 14th of June were secretly con- 
stnicting batteries for forty-seven guns and mortars within less 
than a thousand yards. General Gillmore testified : " For about 
a week the enemy kept up a brisk fire upon the place where we 
were working. The firing was principally from mortars, and 

* Bt this action the engineer in charge, Langdon Cheves, was displaced. 
His letter to the chief engineer resents the charges of dilatory preparation, 
•nd corrects the " inaccuracies and implications " of General Ripley^s cor- 
nspoodence. (See letters of the chief engineer and Mr. Cheves in War 
JieeonU, vol. xzviii. Pt. ii. pp. 178-180; also the chief engineer's mention 
of the labor question in Appendix, ch. iv.) 


was very accurate/'^ Colonel Davis adds: "It killed and 
wounded several men/' 

It may well be asked, Why was not this fire of the Confed- 
erates more vigorously maintained? Only tlieir oonfidence that 
nothing serious was meant by the Federals can account for the 
oversight, while it cannot excuse it. With lookout stations on 
the ruins of the old lighthouse, Morris Island, on the masthead 
of a wrecked blockade-nmner, Ruby, oif Lighthouse Inlet, and 
at Secessionville on James Island, there was yet no discovery of 
these Feileral works. So far from it, that Brigadier-Genenil 
Ripley reports, August 21)th, that " up to the 8th or 9th of July 
the enemy, so far as ascertainecl, had constructed no works on 
Little Folly, except to shelter his pickets from our shells." This 
was a day or two only before the attack, and those thoroughly 
well-built batteries for forty-seven gmis and mortars had been 
under construction since the Hth of June without any discovery. 
The defensive batteries on Folly Island, two miles south of these, 
were known to the Confederates, being visible from Scc*cssion- 

On the southern end of Morris Island were only eleven guns 
and mortars^ in detached batteries, with no connecting lines, but 
only rifle-pits to dispute the passage of the inlet and oppose the 
descent on the island. Some of the rifle-pits were advanc»ed to 
cover Oyster Point on the right : most of them were behind the 

But it was in respect of troops more than of anything else 
that the Confederates were deficient. The works may not have 
been completed, but they had been maintaining a desultory fire 

* General V(xlges reports " that a dense copse-wood near the north end " 
afforded com^ealment to the working-parties. Low sandliills also contributed 
to the same end. But it was chiefly to a ruse practised on the artillerists of 
Morris Island that the concealment was due. A hlockade-nmning steamer 
grounded and became a wreck off the inlet When General Vodges advanced 
a few field-guns on the beach to shell the wreck, the Confederate batteries 
drove them off, and thenceforward, their men being unmolested in plundering 
the cargo, the impression was conveyed to the Ck)nfederate8 that only a picket 
force was opposed to them. 

* Three 8-inch navy shell-guns, two 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, one rifled 
*24-pounder, one 30-pounder Parrott rifle, one 12-pounder Whitworth. and 
three 10-inch sea-coast mortars. 


for nearly four weeks, quite enough, as reported, to disturb the 
working-parties of the enemy. To explain this lack of infan- 
tn' supports in particular, it must be recorded that the forces 
under Greneral Beauregard had been reduced by requisition of 
the War Department in Richmond, notwithstanding his protest, 
from a total, on the 7th of April, 1863, of 30,040 to a total, on 
the 10th of July, 1863, of 15,318. " Thus," he says, " on the 
10th of July, 1863, 1 had but 5861 men of all arms in the First 
Military District guarding the fortifications around Charles- 
ton." {Military Operations of General. G. T, Beauregard, vol. ii. 
p. 109). 

And in perfect accord with the above is Brigadier-General 
Ripley's answer to the eighth question in the same volume (Ap- 
pendix to chapter xxxiii.) : " My force of infantry was, in all, 
2462 effective — 1184 on James Island, 612 on Morris Island, 
204 on Sullivan's Island, and 462 in Charleston." Against this 
depletion of his forces General Beaur^ard had earnestly remon- 
strated, informing the authorities at Richmond in May, June, 
ami July of the imminent risk of being found unprepared for 
attack.^ Under date of June 15th he writes: "The garrison 
of no work in the harbor can be withdrawn or diminished, as 
they are all necessary links in the chain of defenses. Reduce 
the command on James Island, and the enemy may readily 
penetrate by such a coup-de-main as was attempted last year 
at the weakened point. James Island would then fall, and 

' "I mnst respectfully ask jour attention to the paper herewith, marked A. 
exhibiting the force of all arms that will be left me after the execution of your 
orders, and that in the department this time last year. 

"You will perceive that I shall be left with 12,664 men of all arms less 
than at the same period last year, and when the force of the enemy was less 
threatening in its position than now; that my infantry force for the sup- 
port of the lines around Charleston will be but 1547, whereas last year the 
infantry force for the 8:ime duty was 6462, leaving the lines on James Island 
nitually without infantry support, and open to seizure and the inevitable fall 
of Charleston." (G. T. Beauregard, May 11, 1863, to the Secretary of War.) 
This date was only two months prior to the descent of General Gillmore on 
Morris Island : the expostulation, a full and very earnest one. was in reply to 
Mr. Seddon's demand for 5000 more troops for the West, under the gross mis- 
apprehension that a reduction of Union forces threatening Charleston had 
beeo made. (See War Records, vol. xiv. page 931.) 


despite our harbor defenses^ the city of Charleston would be 
thrown open to bombardment." (Military Operalions, vol. li. 
page 109.) 

It will appear in the end that this view was entirely justi- 
fied. For not only was James Island menaced by the landing 
of 3800 men with a naval support at the time of the descent 
on Morris Island, but it is plain that if the column of 10,000 
effective Federals had been thrown upon the centre of the atten- 
uated lines of James Island with anything like the dash of the 
assaults on Morris Island, they would have pushed through to 
the shores of the inner harbor and compelled the surrender or 
evacuation of the city.^ 

But to resume the train of events. It must be noted what 
changes had, about this time, been made in the Union force*. 
On the 12th of June, 1863, Brigadier-General Q. A. Gillmore 
relieved Major-General D. Hunter in the command of the 
Department of the South. On the 6th of July, 1863, R«ar- 
Admiral John A. Dahlgren relieved Rear-Admiral Samuel F. 
DuPont. Thus a complete change in the command of the 
United States forces occurred within two or three months after 
the repulse of the iron-clad squadron. It has been mentioned 
that Brigadier-General Vodges occupied Folly Island, and, co- 
operating with him, the navy held Stono Inlet and River. 
This inlet, by air-line from Charleston only ten miles, was by 
water on the interior line sixteen miles, and by the exterior or 
sea-shore line nineteen miles, from the city. The Union com- 
mander decided to make this his base, and concentrated here 
a force of 10,000 infantry, 350 artillery, and 600 engineer 
troops, forming a total of nearly eleven thousand men, for a 
descent from Folly Island upon the southern end of Morris 
Island, with the design of advancing on Fort Sumter for its 
reduction, with tlie closest poasible co-operation of the navy. 
The highest praise is due to the secrecy, despatch, and ability 

' Pee Militnry Opcrafions of General Beauregard, vol. ii. page 114, report of 
September 18, 1864. Also Brijradier-Genenil R. 8. Ripley's replies to ques- 
tions, etc., ?6., vol. ii, Appendix to chapter xxxiii., | articularly page 524, 
wliere he says: " I consider it fortunate, under all circumstances, that, situated 
03 we were, the enemy chose the Morris Island route." 


which characterized all these pi^eliminary movements.* Against 
the detached and unfinished works of the Confederates there were 
in place, by the 10th of July, forty-seven guns and mortars; 
nearly 2000 men of General G. C. Strong's brigade, with 1000 
more in reser\'e, ready in boats to cross the inlet ; four naval 
launches armed with howitzers to cover the landing; and four 
monitors in the channel ready to take part as soon as the attack- 
ing batteries on Folly Island should be opened. Reinforce- 
ments were also in easy reach. 

The Confederate force on Morris Island at this time was dis- 
posed as follows : At the southern end were two companies and 
a detachment of the First South Carolina Artillery (200 men) — 
Co. I, Captain John C. Mitchel, Lieutenants John 8. Bee and 
J. Gu^rard Heyward ; Co. E, Captain J. Ravenel Macbeth, 
Lieutenants J. Julius Alston and K. Kemper, with Lieutenant 
H. W. Frost of Co. H, supported by about 400 men of the 
Twenty-first South Carolina volunteers. Major G. W. Mclver 
commanding, and by a detachment of fifty men from the First 
South Carolina Infantry under Captain Charles T. Haskell, Jr. 
—making a force at this point of less than 700 men. Battery 
Wagner was garrisoned by two artillery companies — Gist 
Guards, Captain C. E. Chichester commanding. Lieutenants 
R. C. Gilchrist, Theodore G. Boag, and A. C. Whitridge; 
Mathewes Artillery, Captain John Raven Mathewes, Lieuten- 
ants S. Hall and Gillou. Battery Gregg was garrisoned by a 
rom})any of the First South Carolina Artillery, Captain Henry 
R. Ijesesne commanding. Lieutenant-Colonel J. A. Yates, First 
South Carolina Artillery, was chief of artillery, and Colonel 
R. F. Graham, of the Twenty-first South Carolina volunteers, 
wa<? in command of the island, the total force being 927 men. 

On James Island, the total force was 2906; on Sullivan's 
Wand, 1158; in Charleston proix?r, 860 — ^thus making a total 
of all arms in and around the city of 5841. 

The Union batteries on Little Folly Island were reported 
ready for attack on the 6th of July, and orders were issued bv 

' The prepnring of these masked batteries was entrusted to Lieutenants 
Charles R. Siiter nnd P. S. Michie of the Engineers, and to Captain A. Mor- 
d«cai of the Ordnance Department. 


Brigadier-General Gillmore, commanding, to open fire and 
advance on the night of the 8th, barges being collected for the 
purpose ; but no attack was made at that time. It was on this 
night of the 8th-9th that Captain Charles T. Haskell, Jr., scout- 
ing from Morris Island in a small boat, made discovery of the 
barges moored in the creek back of Folly Island. Even this 
discovery failed to alarm the defendei's of Morris Island, as it 
should have done; for Brigadier-General Ripley, as already 
mentioned, reported none but light defensive works across the 
inlet " up to the 8th or 9th of July." 

Another time set for the attack was the morning of the 9th, 
but bad weather and other unfavorable circumstances caused a 
second postponement. Some cutting away of brushwood from 
the front of the concealed works had already been heard by the 
Confederates, but as there was no removal of the brush, the bat- 
teries continued to be undiscovered up to the last moment. 

On this day, however, the 9th, a division of troops, supported 
by gunboats, began the movements, demonstrating on James 
Island by way of the Stono River, and an expedition set out 
from Beaufort to cut the Savannah Railroad at the Edisto. Of 
these more will be said farther on. 

Soon after daybreak, about five o'clock, on the 10th day of 
July, a close, sultrj'^ morning, the batteries were finally unmasked 
and opened upon Morris Island. Some attack was looked for 
by the Confederates, but not such a furious and overwhelming 
cannonade as now began and continue<l for three hours. It was 
made with more than four times their number of guns and troops. 
Forty-seven guns and mortars were afterward, in an hour's time, 
joined by eight more gims of the heaviest calibre from the 
monitors, assisting with their formidable cross-fire. The land- 
attack was commanded by Brigadier-General T. Seymour. 

The reply of the Confederate batteries was not immediate, as 
they were taken much by surprise ; nor wa<? it effective against 
such odds. Guns were disabled and casualties were very fre- 
quent. The infantry supports occupied the main line of rifle- 
pits to the rear of the works, with only a picket-guard at Oyster 
Point. But when the troops of Strong's brigade appeared in 
boats coming from the cover of Folly Island into the inlet and 


advancing on Morris Island, the Confederate batteries were put 
to better use than before, firing upon the flotilla and sinking a 
launch ; then the infantry, under Major G. W. Mclver, moved 
forward to meet the attack by occupying the advanced rifle-pits 
near the water. This was about seven o'clock. 

On came the boats, using their howitzers and aided by a fire 
from the left of the Folly Island batteries specially directed by 
the officer in command, Lieutenant-Colonel R. H. Jackson, upon 
the infantry forming to dispute the landing. One division of 
the boats, led by four companies of the Seventh Connecticut, 
under Lieutenant-Colonel D. C. Rodman, made gallantly for 
Oyster Point, and carried, after a short resistance, the rifle-pits 
in that vicinity. Another division, with the Sixth Connecticut, 
Colonel J. L. Chatfield commanding, kept on down the inlet to 
the south-eastern point of the island, where it landed under cover 
of high ground in perfect safety, as the Confederate guns could 
not be depressed sufficiently to bear on the spot. (Lieutenant- 
Colonel L. Meeker's report.) With a charge from this point, 
and but little loss, the Sixth Connecticut captured the nearest 
batteries, while, converging toward the middle of the island, the 
other (the main) column, led by the Seventh Connecticut and 
comprising also the Forty-eighth New York, Ninth Maine, Third 
New Hampshire, and Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania, took battery 
after battery, and drove the infantry support out of their main 
line of rifle-pits in full retreat up the sandy length of the island 
toward Fort Wagner. 

The Confederates fought their battewes as long as they could . 
under Captain Mitchel and Captain Macbeth, the latter being 
wounded and captured ; but the extreme heat of the day, com- 
bined with the oveq>owering fire of the enemy's guns, told dis- 
astrously on the small force both of artillery and infantry, so 
that Colonel Graham could do nothing but give the order to 
retreat. 150 wounded or exhausted' men, with Captain Mac- 
beth and Lieutenants Bee and Gueranl, were made prisoners, 
the total loss, killed, wounded, and missing, being reported by 
General Ripley at 294. Among the killed or mortally wounded 
were Captain Charles T. Haskell, Jr., First South Carolina In- 
fantry, Lieutenant John S. Bee, First South Carolina Artillery, 


Lieutenant T. H. Dalryraple, Twenty-first South Carolina vol- 
unteers, and Assistant Engineer Langdon Cheves.* The Union 
loss was 107, Captain L. H. Lent, of the Forty-eighth New 
York volunteers, being among the killed. 

The retreat of the Confederates over the heavy sand toward 
Fort Wagner, nearly three miles of toilsome effort under a broil- 
ing sun^ was at length covered by that work and the arrival 
of seven companies from Lieutenant-Colonel P. H. Xelson's 
Seventh battalion of South Carolina volunteers,^ under Major 
James H. Rion ; the retreat being followed up by the four 
monitors, close in to the beach, as far as Wagner itself. 

The part taken by the monitors in this day's operations was 
highly important. Rear-Admiral Dahlgren, having his flag 
on the Catskill, reports that they reached Wagner by 9.30 A. m., 
and that 534 shell and shrapnel were thro>yn upon the island by 
their Xl-inch and XV-inch guns that day. The Folly Island 
batteries reported 2500, making a total of 3034 for the cannon- 
ade. The Catskill, flagship, was particularly noticed by the 

' Captain Haskell was one of several brothers who highly distinguished 
themselves in the war. His own services around Charleston harbor were 
active, gallant, and valuable. He fell in the rifle-pit while standing and 
encouraging his men. His last words to a comrade (Captain .James W. Owens. 
Twenly-firBt South Carolina volunteers), to whom he extended his hand, were: 
"Tell my mother that I died for her and my country." 

First Lieutenant John S. Bee had shared in Fort Sumter, on April 7th, the 
honors of that day. He fell in the discharge of duty well done, and few 
oflScere were more missed or lamented. 

Langdon Cheves, whose in(jelligence and capabilities amply qualified him 
for the rank of captain of Engineers accorded him by wnirtesy, had become 
identified with the building and perfecting of Batiery Wagner. Captain F. 
D. Lee applied for him as his assistant and always esteemed him very high- 
ly. Being on duty in Wngner, he had just been informed of the death of his 
nephew, Captain Haskell, and, though feeling it deeply, **he roused himself 
to action as the sound of approaching battle grew louder, and, stepping across 
the threshold of his door toward one of the magazines, he was stricken to 
death by a fragment of the first shell hurled at Fort Wagner." (Charleston 
Ytar-Baok, ISS4.) Langdon Cheves was the son, and bore the name, of Judge 
Cheves, who was also a Speaker of the House in Congress from South 

'Lieutenant-Colonel P. H. Nelson, of Sumter county, South Carolina, 
served gallantly through the war, until killed in a sortie before Petersbur*,'. 
Va, June 24, l'864. 


artillerists of Wagner and Gregg, having been struck sixty 
times, or, to quote, "severely handled, their 10-inch smooth- 
bores doing us the most harm, the rifles generally glancing 
or striking sideways." (Report of George W. Rodgers, com- 

Major-General Gillmore had now, by nine o'clock, gained 
^ith his troops three-fourths of Morris Island, and after an 
engagement lasting three hours and a quarter the Federal 
troops had been pushed fonvard within range of Wagner. But, 
driven back, by Chichester's artillery fire, some fourteen hun- 
dred yards distant, they spent the night there, under orders to 
assault early next morning. The Confederates, reinforced after 
midnight by a fine body of Georgia troops,* made ready for 
them with a total force (at Wagner) of about one thousand 
infantry and two hundred artillerists. 

From the parapet of Fort Sumter the attack had been clearly 
seen. The island being, for the most part, perfectly bare and 
open to the view, every stajje of the oj)erations except the crossing 
of the inlet had been watched with the keenest interest. When 
at length, about 10 A. M., a Federal flag raised on the Beacon- 
House, some 4000 yards distant, told of the enemy's position, 
Colonel Rhett ordered one of his favorite Brooke rifles to open 
from the south-eastern angle. Thus began the firing of the fort 
in protection of its outposts. It was continued for several days 
with two 7-inch Brooke rifles and two 32-pounders rifled and 
banded ;' afterward with columbiads and 10-inch seacoast mor- 

^ These were four companies each from the First Georgia regiment, Colonel 
C. H. Olmste.ul, and the Twelfth Georgia battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel H. D. 
Capers, and three companies from the "Savannah Volunteer Guards," known 
:ls the Eighteenth Georgia battalion, under Major W. S. Basinger, anionntini; 
to about 584 men. The Seventh South Carolina baUalion, under Major James 
IF. Rion, numbered about 300 men. 

Among the troops in the battle on Morris Island from Savannah were a 
portion of the Firet regiment Georgia volunteerK~viz. German Volunteers, 
Captain Werner; Ogletliorpe Light Infantry, Company B, Lieutenant James 
Lacklison; the Washington Volunteers, Cai»t:iin John Cooper; and the 
Tatnall Guards, Captain A. C. Davenport. 

' The firing of these guns being very satisfactory for that time, the follow- 
ing particMlars are subjoined: The rifled and banded 328 had been smooth- 
bores, taken fron^ the casemates and transformed at Eason's workshops in the 


tars by day and night for weeks, until the fort itself was under 
fire from the breaching-batteries at an extreme range that defieil 
all reply. Major-General Gillmore testifies regarding this fire, 
particularly during the assaults of 11th and 18th of July, that it 
was both " accurate and destructive/' From returns it is esti- 
mated that over one thousand projectiles of all kinds were thus 
tlm)WD by Fort Sumter upon Morris Island. 

At the dawn of day, July 11th, the first assault on Battery 
Wagiier was made by the Union force. As witnessed from the 
walls of Fort Sumter, it appeared short and sharp, lasting less 
than a half hour and ending in a complete repulse. The attack- 
ing column, commanded by Brigadier-General G. C. Strong, con- 
soled of inwps from the Seventh Connecticut (four companies), 
the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania, and the Ninth Maine regiments, 
while two regiments from New Hampshire formed the reserve. 
The Confederate pickets, about one hundred and fifh' strong, 
under Major James H. Rion, gave them several volleys before 
falling back to the batterj'.* 

citT. Thej were mounted en barbette on the gor^, and fired at 14° elevation 

»ilh i charge of TJ Ibe., a 25^' shell, and an effective range of 4800 yards. 

The 7-inch Brooke rifles, mounted en barbette, one at the south-eastern angle, 
the other at the northern angle of the fort, therefore firing in reverse, were 
given 20° elevation, 15 lbs. of powder, 30''' to 34'^ shells, and were seen to 
be effective at a range of 6160 yards, or three and a half miles. On the fifth 
Hay of firing the Brooke rifle at the south-eastern angle showed a fracture in 
the breech on the line of the ratchet-marks, but the banding held the ruined 
gun U^ther. A shell from the other gun prematurely exploded over the 
parade and killed one of the garrison on the eastern terreplein. A Federal 
dnimmer-boy, writing for the Philadelphia Times, records his reminiscences 
of the firing, as follows: 

"They had one barbette gun on the south-east corner of Fort Sumter 
whn«e range covered the whole island. Many were the imprecations given 
it bv the poor tired fellows whose rest would be rudely broken by a shell from 
that pin bursting near or over them. But one night we saw it flash ; the shell 
exploded far short of the usual distance, and as none ever reached us again, 
we judged that the gun had burst." 

General W. W. H. Davis also testifies to the range of this rifle, saying that 
he Raw a shell which had fallen within '*a half mile of the inlet." (See 
flwtory (]f One Hunched and Fourth PennRylmnia Regiment.) 

* Brigadier General T. Seymour reports that one chief cause of the failure 
nf the assault was the driving in of the Confederate pickets a whole hour 
before the advance was made. (See Appendix.) This can only be a mistake, 


Then, in the lead, the men from Connecticut came on with 
a dash, headed by the intrepid Lieutenant-Colonel D. C. Rod- 
man. Their place was on the right, advancing in column on 
the beach, while the other troops marched in line over the un- 
dulating sandy soil of the low island. Soon the front became 
narrowed almost to the beach itself by the marshy ground con- 
nected with the creek on the left. This gave to the Connecticut 
troops the prominence they took and maintained in the short 
attack, for they found themselves in front of the chief salient 
and left flanking curtain of the work. 

Here and toward the left centre had been placed the infantry 
from Georgia, Colonel C. H. Olmstead's command on parts of 
the sea-face and in the left flanking curtain, with Lieutenant 
R. C. Gilchrist at the guns ; Major W. S. Basinger's Savannah 
Volunteer Guards in the salient itself, with Lieutenant T. G. 
Boag over his artillery; while the Twenty-first South Caro- 
lina volunteers in the centre, the Twelfth Georgia, and the 
Seventh South Carolina battalion on the right, interspersed 
with artillerists under Captains Mitchel and Mathewes, com- 
pleted the dispositions made by Colonel Graliam, the com- 

There was not light enough yet for Major Basinger in the 
salient to distinguish the attacking troops until they had come 
within less than a hundred yards. He then gave the order to 
fire. The riflemen of his command were thus the first to open 
fire and check the assault with a compact, withering volley. 
Shortly after Lieutenant Boag opened with grape and canister 
from the salient, and then the fire of both artillery and infan- 
try from all the parapets of Wagner became general. Some 
of the Connecticut men pushed forward along the beach, pass- 
ing the salient and sea-face, until confronted by the defenders 
of the extreme left. A few gained the parapet in this quarter 
of the fort, hiding afterward in the close gun-pits of the sea- 
face. From one of these a party of eight or ten was subse- 

for, thoiigh the pickets did their part well, it is the testimony of Major Basin- 
ger and his adjutant that not more than twenty minutes intervened between 
the first shot heard by him in the salient and the order given by himself lo 
open fire on the assaulting column. 


quently taken, being captured there by Lieutenant G. D. Smith 
of the Eighteenth Georgia battalion.* 

But the struggle was vain, for when the firing began the 
Pennsvlvanians were ordered to lie down, and did not get into 
action in time to support their comrades in the advance. They 
attempted to assault on the centre and right of the battery, but 
this was done with little spirit, and only this futile effort was 
made to regain what was lost. Soon, with the advantage of 
daylight, the heavy fire of the defense cut off quite effecftually 
a\\ support from those who had crossed the ditch and were 
cVinging for protection to the exterior slope of the parapet. 
These could do no more than surrender when the demand was 
made on them.* The prisoners numbered 130. The total of 
casualties and captures reported by Brigadier-General Strongs for 
the two days, 10th and 11th of July, was 436, of which num- 
ber 330 were directly referred to the assault. The Seventh 
Connecticut lost 104 out of 196, its gallant leader, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Rodman, having been severely wounded. The Con- 
federates suffered small loss, only 12 casualties, mostly in the 
Eighteenth Georgia battalion, occupyiug the salient — a post of 

* Colonel Olmstead related in an address delivered in 1879 the following 
indrlent of this period of the assault, and Lieutenant (afterward Major) (iil- 
ehrisl conBrms it. Colonel Olmstead said: "One brave fellow I saw, how- 
ever, who had not the thought of yielding in hira. Alone he reached the 
top of the parafiet immediately in front of a 32-pounder dcMible charged with 
>frape-shot. The officer in command ( Lieutenant Gilchrist of South Carolina, 
if my memory serves me), struck by his bearing, called to him to come in 
before the gun was fired. His only reply was to put his musket to his shoul- 
der, and a bullet whizzed by Gilchrist's head. The explosion of the ^nn fol- 
lowed, and a blue mangled body, all that remained of a brave man and a good 
wldier, was hurled across the ditch." 

'Colonel Olmstead again furnishes a reminiscence, a.s follows: '' Immediately 
after the action a singular instance of the ups and downs and uncertainties 
»»f warfare was brought to our attention. Amonj? the first troops to enter 
Fort Pulaski at its capture in tlie previoiis year was the Seventh Connecticut 
regiment, then commanded by Colonel Alfred H. Terry (subsequently major- 
general.) Both officers and men had behaved toward us with great kindness 
«J"nng the few days that we remained at the fort after its capture, and we had 
"Wome personally acquainted with them. Now. we were the victors, and 
"Dong the prisoners broucrht in at our end of the line were many of our 
oW friends of the Seventh Connecticut, who recognized and called us by 


lionor which could not have been more vigilantly or bravely 
defended. The First Georgia regiment lost Captain C. Wer- 
ner, and Lieutenant Frederick Tupper of the Eighteenth Geor- 
gia battalion was severely wounded.* 

At other points distant from Morris Island two feints or 
demonstrations had been planned by Major-General Gillmore 
in combination with the real attack of the 10th "of July. One, 
upon James Island, he says, accomplished successfully iU pur- 
pose. The other, designed to cut the Charleston and Savannah 
Railroad, operated from Beaufort up the South Edisto and sig- 
nally failed. 

The demonstration on James Island was with Brigadier-Gen- 
eral A. H. Terry's command of about 3800 men, convoyed up 
tiie.Stono by a naval force of six vessels under Commander G. 
B. Balch. This officer reported troops landed on the 9th in the 
afternoon. Colonel C. H. Simonton, commanding on the island, 
reported their presence next day. On the 11th there was some 
firing between the gunboats and the Confederate light batteries, 
followed in the afternoon by an advance of General Terry's 
troops up to Grimball's Place. The command of the island, 
with less than 3000 men, passed into the hands of Brigadier- 
General Johnson Hagood on the 12th, and he was reinforced 
by two regiments from Georgia under Brigadier-General A. H. 
Colquitt, and by the Eighth, Thirty-first, and Sixty-first regi- 
ments of Xorth Carolina volunteers, under Brigadier-General 
T. L. Clingman. 

On the morning of the 16th the Pawnee^ sloop of war and 
the Marblehead gunboat (4 guns) were driven from their an- 

' The Work of an Old Shoe-heel. — The author has been told by Mr. 
Philip (t. Laiiprley, who was in the fij?ht, that when he was detailed from his 
command, the Twelfth Georgia battalion, to bury the enemy's dead in front 
of the battery, a soldier, mortally wounded, asked him the strange question: 
" What have you been firing? Haven't you any powder and shot?" On being 
answered that there could be no doubt of that, the man held up an old shoe- 
heel, saying, "This was fired at me with your canister, and this has killed 
me!" He had drawn it out of the wound, and he died soon after. 

' This particularly annoying, because ever-active vessel, was armed with 
eight IX-inch Dalilgrens (^smoothbore) and one Parrott rifle, 10i)-pounder, with 
anotlier lighter gun (smoothbore), oO-pounder. She was struck fifty times in 
this action, but onlv suffered four casualties. 

Brevet Major-Gcneral Q. A. GILLMOUE, Uf S A., 

Commanding Department of the South. 

From a Photograph. 

Entered U. S. Mil. Acad, from Ohio- Graduated 1849— Capt. of Entjinccrs 

Aug. 6. 1861 — Biigadier-General U. S. Vols. April 28, 1862. 

Major-Gencral U. S. Vols. July 10, 1863 -Brevet Bng. Gen. U. S. A. 

March 13, 1865— Brevet Major-General U. S. A. March 13 1865. 

Died 1888. 


chordge near Grimball's bv the slmrp and aeeunite firing of two 
sections of field-guns from Blake's and Wheaton's (Chatham) 
batteries, put in iM>sition over night by Lieutenant-Colonel Del. 
KcMuper. But in taking a new position lower down the river 
the vessels were able to render valuable assistance to Brigadier- 
General Terry, who had been at the same time attacked by Brig- 
a(lier-(jeneral Hagood with two columns of infantry and Parker's 
light batter}', and fori;ed back until the assistance cjime. Finding 
the enemy completely under a>ver of the gunboats, the Confede- 
rate troops were withdrawn again to Secessionville. The losses 
were — Unicm, 50; Confederate, 18. The Union troops were 
embarked that night, and left the island for other parts next 
moniing.* » 

The demonstration upon the Charleston and Savannah Rail- 
niad was made on the 10th of July. A regiment of newly- 
eiilisted colored troops, under Colonel T. W. Higginson, was 
sent up the South Edisto to strike the railroad in the vicin- 
ity of Jacksonboro'. The expedition, cx)nsisting of an armed 
steamer and two smaller boats, set out from Beaufort, ascended 
the river, and landed at Willtown, surprising in a fog the small 
for«? at that point, but failing to capture it. A delay of some 
hours there, for j)lundering purposes, cost them heavily; for 
time was given, higher up the river, to cK)llect a Confederate 
fon-e; and, when the boats were within three miles of Jackson- 
h(»n)', they were turned back and pursueil by sc*etions of flying 
artiHen' from Parker's (Marion), from Walter's (Washington), 
and from Shulz's (Chesnut) batteries. The residt was, that one 
<»f the smaller boats was crippled, set on fire, and abandoned, 
the others escaping to Beaufort. From the wreck two valuable 
fieM-pieces were saved and taken into the (\)nfederat€ serviw. 

While these operations were in progress, General I^auregard 
had received reinforcements. He therefore held a consultation 
^vith his generals as to the feasibility of ex[>elling the invaders 
fnim Morris Island. But the conclusion reached was, that '* means 
i>f trans jK)rtat it m were so limited as to render it imjx)ssible to 

' 'MJeneral Gillmore afterwanl remarke*! to (ieneral Terrv that the night 
"f "ur witlidrawal from .iames Island wa« to him the most anxious one in 
hi« military exiierieni-e." ( W, W. H. Davis.) 


throw sufficient reinforcements on the island in one nighty and 
in time to allow the advance of our tr()ops to the south end 
before daylight." {Military Operations^ vol. ii. pp. 115, 116.) 

The descent on Morris Island was thus a successfully accom- 
plished fact. The Union troops were occupying nearly three 
miles of the southern part, leaving the Confederates to hold 
one mile of the northern part, with two strong fortifications, 
but with their communications with the city seriously threat- 
ened and impaired. 

The defense on the 10th of July was not so vigorous as it 
might have been, even allowing for the heavy odds against the 
Confederates. The fire of their eleven pieces, mostly of large 
calibre, did little or no execution. Some of the guns could 
not be depressed to bear on the landings. It would have been 
better had the gunners not wearied themselves out fighting the 
Folly Island batteries for two hours, but had reserved their 
fire to be concentrated on the boats as they advanced to land 
the trooj)s. Greneral Gillmore remarks in his report that a few 
well-placed field-guns would have done better. 

Nor was any stubborn resistance made from the rifle-pits 
by the small support of infantry, so overwhelmed was it by 
the batteries, the flanking fire from the monitors, and the charge 
of four times its own number from the landing. The shattered 
and exhausted companies reached Fort Wagner in a very disor- 
ganized condition, which lasted late into the night. And if an 
assault had been made that evening the whole island might have 
fallen. The Union army certainly lost a great opportunity. 

About midnight fresh troops were brought from Charlesttm, 
particularly the Grcorgians, and a more determined spirit pre- 
vailed at once. The repulse inflicted on the enemy the next 
morning served to encourage the defenders of Morris Island 
and to confirm the purpose of the commanding general to hold 
it as long as possible. 



Jiily 12-Augrust 12, 1803. 


Brigadier-General Taliaferro commands the Confederates on 
Morris Island — Major Rion's Sortie on the Niohtof July 14th 
—(.TREAT Land and Naval Bombardment of Waoner, July 18th 
—Fire Ceases at Dark and Garrison called Oct— Three Bri- 
gades OF Union Troops prepare for Assault under Brigadier- 
General Seymour— Strong's Brigade, led by Shaw's Colored 
Reuiuemt, gains the Parapi>:t, but is Beaten Back in Great Dis- 
order—Putnam's Brigade, Delayed too Long, Gains and Holds 
A Salient of the Work, but is Forced to Retreat after Heavy 
Losses and- Capture of Prisoners— The Union Troops finally 
Repclbed after a Struggle of nearly Three Hours— Confed- 
erate Losses— Construction of Breaching-Batteries against 
Fort Scmter begun July 23d at Unprecedented Range of 4200 
Yards- Exchange of Prisoners August Sd— Armament of Fort 
SrMTER Reduced, by Removal of Twenty Guns, to a Total of 
Thirty- RIGHT Guns and Two Mortars — Filling of Gorge-rooms 
WITH Wet Cotton-Bales and Sand — Sally- Port cut through 
Western Wall and Wharf (Constructed— Mert/)ns and Trav- 

ED WITH Sandbags brought from the City— Magazines made 
Safe— Two Captures by the Harbor Flotilla. 

Immediately after the failure in front of Battery Wagner 
steps were taken by the Union commander, Brigadier-General 
Q. A. Gillmore, to construct batteries against it, so as to shake 
it violently before another assault. These works, four in num- 
lH*r, mounting twenty-seven rifle guns, 10-, 20-, and 30-pound- 
ers, and fourteen mortars, were begun on the night of July 12th 
by Major T. B. Brooks, A. D. C. and assistant engineer. They 



were located on what he termed the first parallel/ and they 
varied in distance from 1330 to 1920 yards. 

But it does not appear that any thought of the necessity of 
besieging Wagner by regular approaches entered the mind of the 
Union wmmander at this early date. These forty-one or two guns 
and mortars, supported by the heavy flanking fire of the armored 
vessels, were relied on to demoralize the garrison and ensure an 
easy capture of the fort. Sii resj^ectable, if not formidable, liad 
this seaside resort of the Confederates l)ecome that hencefonvanl 
it was to oixjupy a very ccnispicuous place in the military <»pe- 
rations before Charleston.* Yet the results proved that Fort 
Sumter could have been demolished and the city annoy etl by 
long-range rifle-giuis without the digging of a single trench 
or the firing of a single gun against Wagner, or perha{)s the 
sacrifice of a single life l)efore its impregnable rampartii. (See 
" Strategic Value of Morris Island," Appendix E.) 

Colonel R. T. Graham, who had commandeil the Confede- 
rate troops on the island during the engagements of the lOtli 
and 11th, was relieveil on the morning of July 14th by Briga- 
dier-General William B. Taliaferro. This offic»er, a native of 
Virginia, having served with ** Stonewall " Jackson in some 
of his most active and brilliant campaigns, reported for duty in 
the department, and was assigned first to the District of Geor- 
gia, March 6, 1863. Some time after May he apjieai-s to have 
been transferred, at his own request, to the First Military Dis- 
trict of South Carolina, and continued in its organization to 
render most valuable service for nearly two yeai's. 

In onler to inspirit the garrison and feel the enemy, who 
occupie<l rifle-pits alxnit three-fourths of a mile from Wagner, 
the order was issued by Greneral Taliaferro on the night of his 
arrival to organize a sortie, and the command of it was given 
to Major James H. Rion, Seventh battalion South Carolina.' 

* But it waft not so called by (leneral Gillinore until after July 18ili. 

• "This was one of the strongest earthworks ever built, and jr»ve evidenre 
of the hifichest order of engineering ability." (Brigadier-General VV. \V. H. 
Davis, U. S. Vols., " Annals of the War,'» Philadelphia Time*, 1S79.) 

■ No mention of this bold sortie appears in the " Confederate Defense of 
Morris Island," Charleston Year-Book, ISS4, Major Rion 8erve<l the Stale 
with distinction in war and in i>eape. He died in ISSO. 


With detachments from the Fitty-first North Carolina and 
Twentieth South Carolina regiments, also from the Twelfth 
ami Eighteenth Georgia battalions and his own command, in 
all one hundred and fifty men, Major Rion pushed forward 
about midnight, and encountered first the pickets, then a heavy 
fire from the troops in the entrenched lint?, which seemed to be 
destructive to some of their own men in the act of retreating. 
Prisoners taken gave information of the new works in progress, 
and, the objecrt being attained. Major Rion withdrew, having 
lost 11 wounded (1 mortally) and 3 missing. He estimated 
the Union loss at npwanl of 40. The Confederate rifle-pits 
on "the ridge" two hundred yards in advance of Wagner 
were then reoccupied. 

While the batteries for the new attack were under construc- 
tion the monitors and giuiboats of the fleet furnished a daily 
supply of about three hundred shot and shell to the Confe<l- 
erates on Morris Island. But the casualties weix? very few, 
and the injuries to the works no greater than could be easily 
repaired by the working-parties every night. 

At length came the 18th day of July, made memorable by 
a land and naval bombardment of unconmion severity, last- 
ing eleven hours, and followed by the second assault of Wag- 
ner. This was bravely made, but stubbornly resisted, and it 
ended in a bloody and disastrous repulse of the Union forces. 

General Taliaferro had under his command at this time on 
the northern end of Morris Island alxnit thirt(»en hundred 
men. The garrison of Wagner consisted of the following 
infantry: the Charleston battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel P. C. 
Oaillard, assigne<l to the right; the Fifty-first North Carolina, 
Colonel H. McKethan, posted at the centre; the Thirty-first 
Xorth Carolina, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles W. Knight, as- 
**igned to the defense of the left of the work. The artillerv 
companies of Captains W. T. Tatom and Warren Adams, First 
South Carolina Infantry, of Captains J. T. Buckner and W. J. 
Dixon of the Sixty-third Georgia (heavy artiller}^), and of Cap- 
tain William L. De Pass (light battery), were all under com- 
mand of Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Simkins, chief of artillery. 
Two field-howitzers on tlie extreme left were in charge of 


Lieutenant T. D. Waties of the First South Carolina Artillerv 

In the forenoon, while the Union batteries were making 
ready after the delay caused by a drenching rain the night 
before, there was preliminary practice with the mortars, get- 
ting the range of Battery Wagner, From 9 a. m. five gun- 
boats shelled the fort, but by noon the entire fleet of armored 
vessels and wooden gunboats began to move up and take posi- 
tion for their day's work. Soon after midday all the land and 
naval guns opened together, maintaining a fire of the utmost 
violence for eight hours upon the little fort. Rear-Admiral 
Dahlgren, having his flag on the monitor Montauk, was accom- 
panied by the New Ironsides and four monitors, besides the 
gunboats on tlic station, five in number. These latter used 
their pivot rifle-guns with good effect at long range. The 
Union fire, land and naval combined, must have been from 
sixty-four guns and mortars actually engaged. These were 
op[)osed by the Confederate guns from Wagner, Gregg, Sum- 
ter, Moultrie, and the works on James Island, some thirty odd, 
making on both sides a total of about one hundred guns of the 
heaviest calibre, firing almost incessantly for eight hours. A 
dense cloud of smoke hnng over the fort, the batteries, and 
the ships of war, while the deafening roar of heavy ordnance 
seemed to be unbroken through all the lengthened time. The 
tide serving about 4 P. M., the iron-clad squadron closed in with 
the redoubtable little work "to about three hundred yards, which 
silenced it so that, for this day, not a shot was fired afterward 
at the vessels nor was a man to be seen about it." Its two guns 
on the sea-face were dismounted by the heavy fire after some 

The troops of the garrison were carefully disposed by the 
commanding general, so as to suffer no more than twenty-eight 
(casualties during the day. The detachments of artillery occu- 
pied the several gun-pits or places, deriving some shelter from 
the traverses, parapets, and merlons around thcra. 

"The infantry, except the Charleston battalion, and the artillery, 
except the gun detachments, were placed shortly after the shelling 


commenced under cover of the bombproofs. The first-named battalion, 
with a heroic intrepidity never surpassed, animated by the splendid ex- 
ample of their field-officers, Lieutenant-Colonel P. C. Gaillard and Major 
David Ramsay, had no protection except such as the parapet afforded 
them, yet maintained their position without flinching during the entire 
day As night approached the increased severity of the bombard- 
ment plainly indicated that an assault would be made, and orders were 
issued to the command to prepare to man the ramparts.'' (Report of 
Brigadier-General Taliaferro.)* 

A little after sunset the thunder of the bombardment ceased, 
and when the lull came with the departing day everything was 
made ready for the approaching struggle. Then appeared the 
wisdom of many of the defensive precautions taken by both 
the artillerists and the engineers of the post. The chief engi- 
neer of the department, Lieutenant-Colonel D. B. Harris, had 
come down from the city in a small boat to Cumming's Point, 
and made his way under the perilous fire to the little fort at the 
very height of the bombardment. His cool demeanor, earnest 
spirit, and sagacious judgment impressed and encouraged all 
who came into his company, and contributed greatly to the 
final result, which he remained to see. Not only had the mass- 
ive earthwork proved the thoroughness of its plan and con- 
struction by its w^onderful endurance, but the batteries had 
been so well protected on all the faces of the work as to admit 
of their being put in immediate condition and readiness for 
action. This was due to some thoughtful and energetic meas- 
ures adopted during the day, such as stopping the embrasures 
with sandbags, and even covering up many of the lighter guns 
on the land side with the same, so as to preserve them from in- 
jury until they should be wanted. Most of all, the care taken 
to preserve the magazine from danger was now about to be 
proved and rewarded. All the troops, with the exception of 

' The rear-admiral received a sijrnal from General Gillmore in the after- 
noon infanning him that the assault would be mad-- at twilight. This signal 
was read by the Confederates and eoinmunicated to General Beauregard, but 
vhether it was comninnicated to General Taliaferro or not is uncertain, as he 
testifies to having no recollection of having received it. It was hardly neces- 
nrr to be more assured of the coming event than he had already been by the 
WEmiDg fire he had received* 


i»ne oomraand, took tlioir places at tlie guns and along the 
parapet and awaited the signal of battle. 

So far from finding the garrison unprepare<l for assault, 
Greneral Gillniore reports that o.^ the head of his coluiiin left 
the line of his batteries the guns in Wagner, Ciregg, and Sum- 
ter, and also those on James and Sullivan's Islands, opened 
upon it rapidly and simultaneously. This was at 7.45 P. m., 
when the advancing Federals were first seen from Wagner. 

The brigade of G. C. Strong, headed by the Fifty-fourth 
Massachusetts (colored) regiment, under Colonel Robert C. 
Shaw, led the assault. Another '* made-up " brigade, under 
Colonel H. S. Putnam, followed in supporting distance, and 
Stevenson's brigade was held in reserve; the whole force, 
about 6000 strong, being (xmimanded by Brigadier-General 
Truman Seymour.' 

Shaw's colorel regiment of six hundre<l men came forward 
on the "double quick," but, breaking at the ditch of Wagner 
under the withering fire, and leaving some brave aimrades 
with their dashing colonel dead on the parapet, it rushed like 
a crowd of maniacs back to the rear. The other troops of 
Strong's brigade, caught in the narrow part of the island by 
these desperate fugitives, were thrown into great disorder. Tlie 
Ninth Maine and the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania regiments were 
affected by the panic, and soon General Strong found that he 
had only the Sixth Connecticut and the Forty-eighth New York 
regiments left to do any fighting for him. Fragments of the^ 

* "The division was acconiingly formed on the beach and moved to the 
front. It consisted of three fine brigades. Tlie first, under Brigadier-General 
Strong, was composed of the Forty-eighth New York (Colonel W. B. Barton). 
Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania (Captain J. S. Liltell), Third New Hampshire 
(Colonel J. H. Jackson), Sixth Connecticut (Colonel Chatfield), Ninth Maine 
(Colonel S. Emery), and, temporarily, the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts (Col- 
onel Shaw). The second brigade, under Colonel H. S. Putnam, Seventh 
New Hampshire, consisted of the Seventh New Hampshire (Lieutf^rtant-Col- 
onel J. C. Abbott), One Hundredth New York (Colonel O. B. Dandy), Sixty- 
■^econd Ohio (Colonel F. B. Pond), and Sixty-seventh Ohio (Colonel Alvin 
C Voris). The third brigade' was commanded by Brigadier-General T. (t. 
Stevenson, and consisted of four excellent regiments." (Report of Brigadier- 
General Seymour.) These troops were from the Tenth and Thirteenth army 

• • • • • 

•*••• •••• 

•••• ••* 


^ 4 

Colcncl D. H. HARRIS. 

Chief Engineer r)cpartmeni of S. C, Georgia and Florida, 18C2-64. 

P»riga(Iicr-General October, 1864. 

From a Photoj;raph. 


oomniands bravely struggled on the slojie and ])ara})et of the 
fort, vainly striving to get within, but the brigade was broken, 
while General Seymour was pressing Colonel Putnam to move 
up to the support with his command. The latter contended that 
he had been ordennl directly from the commanding general to 
remain wherc» he was, but after some embarrassing delay he did 

By this time General Strong and Colonel Chatfield of the 
Sixth Connecticut had fallen mortally wounded, battling with 
their brave men close up to the enemy. Putnam's brigade 
charged gallantly, and some of his men, about one hundred, 
with himself for their leader, took possession of the south-east- 
ern salient of the fort, a bastion-like shelter. (Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Seymour's report, agreeing with Personne in the Charledon 
Courier.) Here should have been the Thirty-lirst North Caro- 
lina from the b^inning of the attack ; but instead of Imng 
manned by the troops assigned for its defense, the place was 
left unprotected, all efforts to get the men out of the lx)mb- 
pmof having proved unavailing.^ Heavily traversed on three 
sides, this salient afforded secure lodgment for a time. General 
Seymour reports : *' Strong efforts were made by the enemy to 
drive our brave fellows out, but unsuccessfully, and rebel offi- 
cers and men were captured and sent to the rear.^ For more 
than an hour this position was maintained by Colonel Putnam, 
assisted by Colonel Dandy, One Hundredth Xew York, Major 
L Butler, Sixty-seventh Ohio, W. B. Coon, Forty-eighth New 
York, Captain D. Klein, Sixth Connecticut, and a number of 
other very brave and devoted officers." Here Colonel Putnam 
was shot dead on the para|)et. Before this, while the Second bri- 
gade was moving up to the assault, Brigadier-General Seymour 
was severely wounded by a grape-shot, and was obliged to leave 
the field. He had already sent orders for Stevenson's brigade 
to advance to the support of Putnam, and he repeated the order 
before he was borne to the rear. But Stevenson never moved : 

' This regiment distinjciiished itHelf the next year in Virginia bv gallant 
oondnct on the field of battle. 

' Only Lieutenant .Tames Campliell of the Charleston battalion and a few 


Putnam's brigade, like Strong's, was broken ; and the command- 
ing general soon after gave up the stniggle, without apparently 
making any use of the Third brigade. 

The Federals in the salient were now cut off from all sup- 
port, but they defended themselves well against terrible odds. 
In one of the unsuccessful attacks made on them Captain 
W. H. Ryan of the Charleston battalion was killed. But 
finally they yielded to a sharp fire maintained by the Fifty-first 
North Carolina, and particularly to a flanking attack by a por- 
tion of the Thirty-second Georgia, which tinder Brigadier- 
General J. Hagood had arrived during the action and l^een 
" sent along the parapet to the left and on the top of the mag- 
azine to approach their rear." (For Brigadier-Greneral Talia- 
ferro's report, see Appendix.)* 

The fight lasted with var}'ing and declining violence for 
nearly three hours. The Union lass was very severe, and it 
is difficult to arrive at an exact statement of it. General Gill- 
more does not give it in his report of operations, but on the 
authority of Rear- Admiral Dahlgren {MemoirSy page 419) he 
spoke of it as having been not less than 1500. The loss hi 
Colonel Shaw's regiment was officially reported to have been 
272 out of 624 ; that of the Seventh New Hampshire to have 
been 216. From a comparison of all accounts, it seems fair to 
estimate the total loss at nearly 2000 killed, wounded, and cap- 
tured. Among the killed were Colonels R. G. Shaw and H. 
S. Putnam, with Lieutenant-Colonel Green ; Brigadier-Greneral 
G. C. Strong and Colonel J. L. Chatfield were mortally wound- 
ed ; and Brigadier-General T. Seymour, Colonels W. B. Barton, 
A. C. Voris, J. H. Jackson, and S. Emery were among the 
wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Bedell, Third New Hampshire, 
and Major Filler, Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania, were among the 

* Among the incidents of the day, " the commanding general himself was 
buried knee-deep in sand " (by the explosion of a shell ) ** and dug out with 
8|)ades." A bout J A. M., when the garrison flag had been carried away by a shot, 
it was gallantly replaced by Major David Ramsay, Sergeant William Shelton, 
and Private John Flynn of the Charleston battalion ; again, by Captain Robert 
Barnwell of the Engineers, and Lieutenant W. E. Reddick, Sixty-third Georgia. 
Later, it was replaced by Private A. Gilliland of the Charleston battalion. 


The Confederate lo&s amounted to 174 killed and wounded. 
Among the former were Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Simkins and 
Captain W. T. Tatom, First South Carolina Infantry ; also Cap- 
tain W. H. Ryan of the Charleston battalion and Lieutenant G. 
W. Thompson of the Fifty-first North Carolina. Major David 
Ramsay, Charleston battalion, was mortally wounded.^ 

Twice foiled in his attempts to get possession of Battery Wag- 
ner, the Union oommander changed his plans in two leading 
particulars. Battery Wagner was now to be besieged by regu- 
lar approaches, and Fort Sumter was to be demolished from 
ground already in his possession. The heavy Parrott rifle- 
guns, 100,- 200,- and 300-pounders, which had been brought 
to Morris Island for this purpose, might, in fact, have been 
put in position a fortnight earlier than they were, and both 
of those disastrous assaults on Wagner avoided. The range 

* The present writer claims to have sought accuracy, but for both accuracy 
and fullness of particulars he must refer tlie reader to a contribution in the 
Philadelphia Weekly Timea, April 18, 1885. The author, Major-General 
Sam. Jones, once in command of the Department of South Carolina, Geor- 
i(ia, and Florida, has taken the greatest pains to give all the particulars, 
and his history of operations before Charleston, related in this and other 
iMsnes of the same journal, is of permanent value to the whole country. 

Lieutenant-Colonel John C. Simkins, a native of Edgefield county, South 
Carolina, while quite a youth, enlisted for the Mexican War as private in the 
Palmetto raiment. Obtaining soon after a commission as first lieutenant in 
the newly-raised regiments of regulars, U. S. army, he was twice wounded nnd 
then made captain by brevet. Leaving the service after the war, he returned 
lo farming in Rdgefield. On the outbreak of the Confederate War he was 
commissioned captain in the First re^ment of infantry (regulars) of Souih 
Carolina. In this command he served mostly on Sullivan's Island, being 
promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel of his regiment. 

Captain William H. Ryan, a native of Charleston, held the rank of first 
lieutenant in the Irish Volunteers before his company was united with the 
Charleston battalion. 

Captain William T. Tatom, a native of Abbeville county. South Carolina, 
received a military education in Georgia. 

Major David Ramsay of Charleston died of his wound August 4th, A 
graduate of the Charleston College, he completed his studies with a course 
of two years in Germany, and, returning to his native city, entered upon the 
practice of law. He was not quite thirty-three years of age at the time of 
his death, being a grandson of Dr. Ramsay, the historian of South Carolina, 
and on his mother's side a great-grandson of the eminent patriot and states- 
man, Henry Laurens. 


of thase large Parrott rifles was something unprec^ented in 
warfare, l)eing from 4000 to 8000 yards, and that vseeiired the 
demolition of Sumter without any respect to Wagner. 

It has Ix^en already told how Fort Sumter rendered valuable 
assistance to its gallant outposts on Morris Island. Scarcely 
had the advance of the assaulting column been descried on the 
evening of the 18th, when the barbette battery of Fort Sumter, 
with two mortars firing from the parade, opened effectively on 
the approaches to Wagner, and in particular on the ground 
where the reserves were stationed. Through the deepening 
shadows of the twilight the garrison watched the onset, the 
struggle, the final repulse. The rattle of musketry and the 
dull reports of the siege-howitzers could be plainly heard ; so 
also, at times, even the cheering of the foemen, while the con- 
stant sparkling and flashing of the small-arms looked like an 
electric; chain or a pyrotechnic display. The news of the re- 
pulse was rei'eived at the fort before midnight. 

In a few days after the fight the glasses of the oiBcers could 
make out, from the ramparts of Fort Sumter, the new works 
pressed rapidly to completion by the Federals for the mcmnt- 
ing of their breaching artillery specially intended for its reduc- 
tion. These works seemed far in advance of Wagner. In fact, 
the first work, begun July 23d, next to the marsh and to the 
i-ear of the first parallel, was at a distance of 4200 yards from 
Sumter. Others quickly followed,, and the fresh sand in yellow 
heaps would tell what preparations were making for renewed 

One of the most important changes going on at the fort at 
this time was in its armament. From the date of the enemy's 
descent on Morris Island it had been steadily reduced, the guns 
being sent to new works on James Island and the inner har- 
bor. In this way the barbette guns of the western or left flank 
of^ the fort,^ together with those of the casemates generally, were 
<lisposed of More than twenty guns and mortars were with- 
drawn. The armament, thus reduc»ed, remained up to the open- 
ing of the first bombardment as follows : 

Left flank bavhette {tredern) — Two IX-inch Dahlgrens. 
' Some " quakere " were put in their place. 


Lefi face barbette {north-weatern) — ^Two 10-inch oolumbiads, 
two 8-ineh colunibiads, four 42-pounders. 

Bighi /ctce barbette {northTeasteni) — Two 10-inch columbiads, 
five rifled and handed 42s. 

Right flank barbette (eaatern) — One Xl-incli Dahlgren, four 
10-ineh coluinbiads, one 8-inch cohiiubiad, one rifled 42-iK>under, 
one 7-inch Brooke rifle. 

Gorge bart>ette — Five rifle<l and banded 32.s and one 24- 

Paraite — Two 10-inch mortars. 

Salient neeond tier casetnatea — Thiee rifled and banded 42s. 

Loirer tier caaemaies, on right and leftjacen — Two navy VIII- 
ineb and two 32s. 

Making the total arumment of Fort Sumter at this date, the 
end of July and on to August 17th, to have been thirty-eight 
guiLs and two mortars. 

The working force under the engineer in charge, Lieutenant 
John Johnson, had been greatly increased, varying from three 
hundred to four hundred and fifty blacks, coming and going in 
reliefs night and day. It has been already mentioned that sand 
fn)m the parade of the fort had been used to fill up the case- 
mates, upper and lower, of the sea-front or right flank. It now 
l^ecame necessary to consider the protection of the gorge against 
the laud-batteries, a matter of jiaramouut importance. The 
jrorge, although closed, was not as massively built as the other 
jwrts of the fort, and unless strengthened the breaching of it 
would uncover the whole interior of the work. But sand from 
the parade, which had been freely used to fill the cjisemates of 
the sea-front, was becoming scarce; the transportation of it from 
the city was very limited ; so, to economize material and make 
bulk out of something else, bales of steam-compressed cotton, 
well soaked in salt water, were supplied to the engineer, with 
onlers that they should be laid in siuid as bricks in mortar.* 
' Heaim)Uabtkbs Obpt. South Carolina, (iKORoiA, and Florida. \ 

CHARLB8T0N, S. C, Jul.V 15, 18(«. S 

Liectenant-Coloxel I). B. Harrir, 

Chief Engineer Dept. South Carolina, (xeorgia, and Kloridu — 
Colonel: In addition to the works ordered in my oommnnioation of yes- 
terday's date, the commanding general further directs that the gorge-wall of 


The doing of this work involved more labor than any other 
single part of the defense. Seventeen rooms used for officers' 
quarters, eight lower and nine upper rooms, all eighteen feet 
six inches square, the former having a height of eleven feet, 
the latter a height of fourteen feet, had to be filled without a 
moment's loss of time. There would have been eighteen rooms, 
but the space of the sally-port was reserved for future use, and 
an exterior protection wa** provided for it. Begun on tlie 20th 
of July, this work required the labor of one hundred and fifty 
men, working by day, and the same number, a fresh gang, 
by night, for three weeks, being completed just in time for 

Tlie filling of two rooms simultaneously was conducted 
on the following plan: A bed of sjuid two feet thick was 
fiist laid on the flooring; upon this six bales of wet cotton 
were laid with intervals of two feet between them in everj- 
direction ; then sand, moistened and well rammed, filled the 
spaws; another layer of cotton-bales, separated from the first 
l>y two feet of sand, and so on until the room was filled. 
In this way twelve bales were recjuired for each lower and 
eitrhteen for each upper room. The flooring gave way, as 
cx}>wted, but only so far as the filling of the lower rooms per- 
inittwl, and that was trifling. Except a slight odor of burnt 
cotton on the first day of the bombardment, which may have 
prtKx^tnled from a loose sample, no sign of combustion was 
ever observtxl, and the plan, thoroughly teste<l, was proved to 
Ik* highly efficient. One great advantage it possessed over an 
onlinary filling with sand was in retaining almost a ])erpen- 
(iicular condition after the brick wall had been km^ked away 
i'vnm it; and all fear of its taking fire was removed when it 
was discoverwl, after some openings had betni made, that the 
>vet cotton had become rotted or soured and refiised to burn ; 
this it continued to do even when incendiary shells were fired 

Fori Sumter he 8tren^'thene<l by means of wet cotton-bales, fiUed in-between 
with wet sand antl kept moist by means of tubes or hose from the upper (er- 
replein. Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Thomas Jordan. 

Chief of Staff. 


for days together into the gorge. No measures were taken to 
keep the filling moist, as this was unnecessary. 

It had been ap]>arent for some time that a new wharf and 
sally-port would have to be constructed, the stone quay on the 
gorge, with its adjacent sally-jH)rt, being entirely exposed to 
the eneray. Accordingly, one of the lower casemates on the 
western or city front, near to the north-western angle of the 
fort, was devoted to the purpose ; the tedious work of enlarg- 
ing the embrasure to the dimensions of a gateway was begun, 
and steps were taken to build a timber wharf projecting about 
fi% yards from the exterior of the fort into deep water. This 
double work, begun July 16th, was completed in nine days. 

As soon as the heavy labor of these undertakings had Ix^en 
performed for the security of the gorge and the transportation, 
the working force was put to protecting the fine barbette battery 
of the right flank by suitable merlons and traverses. This bat- 
tery was nearly enfiladed by some of the new positions selec^ted 
by Brigadier-General Gillmore on the inner or marsh line of 
Morris Island. The material, sand revetted with bags, it was 
necessary to elevate in large quantities to the levels of the ^^r- 
rej)lcin and parapet — viz. to a height of thirty-four and forty- 
eight feet above the parade. The traverses, four in number, 
were massive, being thirteen feet high above the terreplein^ and 
with a top thickness each of fifteen feet, the bases in the usual 

Lastly, as the enemy's preparations advanced toward comple- 
tion, a measure of defense which had at first been suggest chI, 
but then postponed on acxx)unt of difficulties, or rather scan^ity 
of transportation, was again agitated, and at length ordered by 
the aimmanding general.* This was the building up from the 

* It was mainly due to the earnest soliciting and devoted personul i^ervices 
of the late Mr. Williams Middleton that this additional protection was given 
to the exterior of the gorge^ strengthening it to the last moment of time 
allowed for work. He superintended the filling of the hags nnd the load- 
ing of the boats. 

The following paragraph from the Charleston Mercury^ Aagtist 4, 1863, will 
fnmish a good idea of the determination in the city : " We would again earn- 
^ly call the attention of all our citizens, not in the ranks, to the important 
movement now afloat to furnish sandbags for the protection of our harbor 


stone quay of the gorge, where a basje of twenty-four fet»t was 
aiforded, of a continuous c*ounterfort of sandbag work, designed 
to add something to tlie masonry counterforts and to the already 
well- packed officers' quarter of that locality, but chiefly de- 
signed to reach and protect with added thickness the para|H»t 
itself. But the work was too great for even the energy whicli 
the crisis lent to all engagetl. Ever)- bag of sand used had to 
be brought from the city by night and put in place l)efore morn- 
ing. A record kept shows that the work, begun on the night 
of the 4th of August, was pressed nightly until the 17th — that 
is to say, for two weeks — but the supply of material was not 
abundant enough for the w-orking force, nor the time sufficient 
for any approach to completion. The total number of bags 
of sand brought to the fort for the j^urpa^e was twenty thou- 
sand, about one-third of the whole numl)er rcHjuircd for this 
object. With these the old sally-i)ort was first prot<K»ted, it 
being now used for a bombproof shelter, and the western half 
of the goi^^scai-p was covered up to the height of about twen- 
ty-five feet, with a top thickness of only six feet and a bottom 
width of from fifteen to twenty feet. 

Thus, from the 10th day of July, when the descent on Morris 
Island was made by the Unicm troops, to the middle of August, 
a large fon-e had b(^n kept working day and night at the task 
of strengthening the fort to meet \ts first bombaniment. As many 
as four hundreil and sixty bands were employed during the last 
week of preparation. The sequel proved that unless this pi\?j)- 
aration had l)een made in time the fort could not have been held. 
The five weeks weiT faithfully employed by all : the engineer 
department had used all diligenw, from the chief to the hum- 
blest laborer ; the quarternriasters had done their best with in- 
ad«|uate transportation ; the garrison of the fort liad been 
worked hard, until officcM-s and men alike required a rfe^ting- 
spell to prepare them fi>r the impending struggle. 

During this peritxl there ot»curred tw(» exploits by the naval 

deferiKes. Messrs. Williams Middleton and T. Jefferson Bennett have Uiken 
cliarwe of the matter on South Commercial Wharf, at.th6 desire of the 
military anthorltieH. Boats and carts are employed in conveying sand and 
the bags when filled. Bags are wanted," 


officers in the harbor which served to prove that they could well 
assume the offensive when an opportunity offered itself. 

The former, known as an " Affair of Pickets at Vincent's 
Ci-eek, August 4, 1863," is described below in one of General 
Ripley's reports, the date being given by him, in mistake, as 
August 5th. There had been an effort made by the Confederate 
engineers to establish a battery on a little rise or shell-beach in the 
marsh near the southern outlet of Vincent's Creek, or Schooner 
Creek, soon after the first assault on Battery Wagner. The site 
was only about 1400 yards west of Wagner, and most favorably 
situated for a flanking fire directly in its front. But the communi- 
cations were hazardous and exposed to the enemy's small boats 
coming from the rear of the island. A small steam-transport, the 
Mauigault, grounded here during the construction of the battery, 
and, being discovered the next morning by the enemy, she was 
:^Hm set on fire by their shells and burned to the water's edge. Her 
hull remained to add an obstacle to the further construction of 
the work, and it was from that time abandoned. But the Union 
boat-pickets at once established themselves there as a base from 
which to annoy the communications between the city and Cum- 
ming's Point of Moms Island, It became known as " Payne's 
Dock," so called after Captain L. S. Payne, of the One Hun- 
dredth New York regiment, distinguished as a daring scout. 

"The enemy, having established an annoying picket-guard at an 
unfinbfaed battery at the mouth of Vincent's Creek, he was attacked 
*t about nine o'clock P. M. (August 4th) by a party from the navy and 
from the Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers, under Lieutenant 
commanding A. F. VVarley of the Confederate States steamer Chicora, 
Captain M. H. Sellers commanding the land force. The party pro- 
ceeded in four boats, guided by Mr. J. Fraser Mathewes, to the northern 
entrance of Lighthouse Creek, where Captain Sellers landed and pro- 
ceeded against the enemy's picket. Lieutenant Warley (and Lieutenant 
John Payne), with two boats, went round to the mouth of Vincent's 
Creek to cut off the enemy's barges. A brisk skirmish ensued, which 
resnited in the capture of one boat, with one captain (Lewis S. Payne) 
and ten non-commissioned officers and privates of the enemy, of which 
the captain and four non-commissioned officers and privates were 
wounded, one mortally. The remainder of the enemy's party were 
driven off in another boat under a heavy fire, which undoubtedly caused 
them some damage. On our side one private of the Twenty-fifth South 


Carolina volunteers waa killed." (Brigadier-General Ripley's report 
of operations.) 

The latter of the two affairs was the capture of a valuable 
launch and part of her crew by the small armed steamer Juno, 
a blockade-runner put in command of Lieutenant Philip Por- 
cher of the Confederate Navy. The annexed account is copied 
from the Hidory of the Confederate States Natry, J. Thomas 
Scharf, New York, 1887 : 

**0n the following night (August 5th-l>th) Commodore Tucker went 
on board the Juno and ordered Lieutenant Porcher to set out on a 
reconnoitring- tour of the harbor. Porcher had ten of his crew armed 
with rifles, and their instructions were to Are upon any of the Federal 
picket-boats that might be encountered. Steaming cautiously along 
below Morris Island, the Juno came upon and took by surprise the first 
launch of the frigate Wabash, which had on board a crew of twenty- 
three men and a 12-pounder howitzer, while the steamer was unarmed 
save for her riflemen, her two guns having been removed when she was 
put in trim for a blockade-runner. Porcher did not hesitate for that 
reason, but ran down the launch; and his onslaught was so swift and 
sudden that the crew attempted no defense. A dozen threw themselves 
into the sea, five were drowned, and seven swam to other picket-boats, 
by which they were rescued. The remainder surrendered, and Porcher 
took possession of the launch and brought eleven prisoners to Charles- 
ton. He was highly complimented by Flag-OfScer Tucker, and the fine 
launch and her gun came into good use against their former owners.'' 

' Shortly after this exploit the valuable life of this officer was 
lost by the foundering of the Juno on a blockade-running trip 
t-o Nassau, N. P. 





August 17-23, 18e3. 

Experiment Ai. Practice with Light akd then with Heavy Guns — 
Record op Damages— Force and Armament op Breachino-bat- 
TERiEs ON Morris Island— They open Heavy Fire on Sumter, 
August 17th— Fire slackened at Night, to be resumed Next 
Morning and Continued for a Week— Operations in the Fleet 
AND on Morris Island— Firing, Damages, and Casualties in Fort 
Sumter— The Fort Suppers a Serious Naval Attack por Two 
Hours and a Halp by Monitors on the Night op August 22d-23d 
—Narrow Escape op the Magazine— Ordnance Stores removed 
at Great Risk — ^The Fort Cannonaded again by the Breaching- 
batteries, and technically Demolished by the End op the 
Seventh Day, August 23, 1863— The Marsh Battery opens Fire 
ON THE City of Charleston. 

Before the breaching-batteries erected by General Gillmore 
against Fort Sumter began their destructive work the fort was 
mjide the target for a little playful practice on the 20th day of 
Jnly. Some of the 30-pounder Parrott rifles, mounted on tlie 
first parallel to operate on Wagner, were turned on Sumter, and 
eight shots were fired to get the range. This light artillery was 
only intended to interrupt the communications from the city 
with the fort and with Cumming's Point ; it had no battering 
power. But being the first firing on the fort by land-guns since 
Major Anderson^s time, April, 1861, and a drummer-boy named 
John C. E. Graham, while standing in the sally-port, having 
been seriously wounded by one of the shells, it is here recorded. 
Again on the 25th the same gims fired six shots at the fort, the 
distance being 4300 yards. 

The first fire of heavy gima mounted for battering purposes 



was ou the 12th of August. But this was only preliminary, 
for as the works begun on the night of the 23d of July were 
successively completed their guns would be tried by a few dis- 
charges until they were all made ready. So it happened that 
between the dates of August 12th and 17th, when the bombard- 
ment fairly began, there was experimental practice with the 
great guns almost daily, morning and evening, though with 
but one or two at a time. The chief importance of this pre- 
liminary fire to the fort and its garrison was that the effect^ 
of single shots could be better observed and estimated at this 
l>eriod than later, when the firing was more rapid and the 
damage from single shots was less distinguishable from the 
general ruin. 

To give the best idea of the powers of the new battering 
engines upon the best brick masonry at ranges varying from 
3400 to 4200 yards, it will be necessary to quote a few passages 
from the engineer's journal. 

Among the eighteen shots striking the fort on the r2th of 
August, one is recorded as passing over the gorge-wall and parade, 
descending into the casematas of the second tier on the left face 
(north-western front), near the spiral staircase, and doing the 
following damage: "The projectile, a percussion shell from an 
8-inch Parrott rifle, commonly called a 150- or 200-pounder, 
exploded, destroying the baking-ovens of the fort and causing a 
half bushel of bricks to fall from the under side of the arch below 
upon the gun mounted in the casemate beneath. This effetrt 
was not due to penetration, but to the shock of tlie explosion 
on the floor above. These lower casemate arches have only 
twelve inches thickness of brickwork at the crown and about 
twenty inches at the haunches. It was at the crown that the 
injury was received. The upper casemates are covered by 
arches twenty inches thick throughout." No casualty attended 
this shell. 

But another, " passing over the western angle of the gorge 
and descending on the outside, struck the little steamboat 
Hibben, then unloading at the new wharf. It penetrated the 
boiler, the steam scalding severely nine neg:ro laborers, some 
of them fatally. Cnrior.sly enough, the shell (8-inch rifle) was 


found apparently unexploded iu the after hold of the boat, but 
without any charge or fuze-plug in it." 

A bolt from the same gun " struck the outside of the gorge- 
wall at the level of the terreplein, or rather of the arch sustain- 
ing it. The crater opened in this old masonry was but three 
feet in diameter and one and a half feet deep, but beyond the 
crater the projectile had penetrated three feet four inches, thus 
making the total penetration on the slant line of fire, nearly 40°, 
equal to four feet ten inches. The measuring-rod was stopped 
by the base of the shot itself, imbedded in and nearly quite 
through the wall, which is here 
five feet thick. As this was the 
first shot illustrating the effective 
breaching power of the guns, the 
sketch here shown has been added 
to give an idea of the crater and 
penetration of the bolt.'* The 
sandbag work on the exterior of 
the gorge- wall at this place had 
been extended no higher than 
the floor of the upper room, filled 
^rith sand and cotton-bales. 

The destructive effect of three 
shells entering the gorge-scarp at 
the parapet and near together was 
very marked. The first almost 
penetrated the parapet, two feet 
and a half below the superior 
slope, "humping or bowing it 
upward twenty inches and for 
twelve feet of its length, shat- 
tering the wall to the inside, and 
throwing brick and fragments of shell upon the terreplein. 
The gorge-scarp is generally five feet thick, but that portion 
of it constituting the lower half of the parapet is only four feet 
three inches thick, being weaker than any of the other parapets, 
which all maintain the full five feet thickness of the scarp. The 
second, occurring the next day, carried away three feet of the 



parapet from the exterior crest inwardly, and smashed the inner 
part through to the interior slope for a length of twelve feet. 
The third continued the destruction, and rendered the parapet 
unserviceable for thirty feet of its length, while for twelve feet 
it was entirely demolished. 

These particulars of damage done by connected or separate 
shots will aid the mind in appreciating the combined firing about 
to be endured by the devoted fort. Further, it will be neces- 
sary to record the following details concerning the breaching- 
batteries, as given by Brigadier-General J. W. Turner, chief 
of staff and of artillery, in the appendix of Major-General 
Gillmore's report of operations : 

*' The batteries, commenciDg on the right, ran aroimd to the left as 
follows : 

" Battery Brown. — On right of second parallel, near the beach. Dis- 
tance from Fort Sumter, 3516 yards. Armament,— T^ifo 8-inch Parrott 
rifles (150- or 200-pounders). Garrison, — Company I, Third Rhode Isl- 
and Heavy Artillery, commanded by Captain Charles G. Strahan. 

"Battery BosecraM, — Near left of second parallel. Distance from 
Fort Sumter, 3447 yards. Armament. — Three 100-pounder Parrott rifles, 
(rarmon.— Company M, Third Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, and a 
detachment of the One-Hundred-and-Seventy-eighth New York volun- 
teer infantry, commanded by Captain J. J. Comstock, Jr., Third Rhode 
Island Heavy Artillery. 

" Battery Meade.— Ned^T left of second parallel, in front of Battery 
Rosecrans. Distance from Fort Sumter, 8428 yards. Armament.— Two 
100-pounder Parrott rifles. 6rarri«w.— Detachments from Third Rhode 
Island Heavy Artillery, the One-Hundredth New York volunteers and 
One-Hundred-and-Seventy-eighth New York volunteer infantry, com- 
manded by First Lieutenant Henry Holbrook, Third Rhode Island 
Heavy Artillery, and after his death by First Lieutenant A. E. Green, 
Third Rhode Island Heavy Artillery. 

" Naval Battery.-^Centre of first parallel, 200 yards north of Beacon 
House. Distance from Fort Sumter, 3980 yards. Armament.— Two 
8-inch Parrott rifles and two 80-pounder Whitworths. (7armon.— De- 
tachments of sailors from the United States frigate Wabash, under Com- 
mander Foxhall A. Parker, United States Navy. 

" Battery Hays.— On creek, 312 yards west of Beacon House. Distance 
from Fort Sumter, 4172 yards. Armament. — One 8-inch Parrott rifle. 
(7^m>on.— Detachments of Company D, Third Rhode Island Heavy 
Artillery, under command of Captain R. G. Shaw. 

** Battery Reno. — On creek, 135 yards west of Battery Hays in sand- 


ridge. Distance from Fort Sumter, 4272 yards. Armament—One 8-inch 
Parrott rifle, two 100-pounder Parrott rifles. Oarriwn, — Company H, 
Third Rhode Island Heavy Artillery and a detachment of the One-Hun- 
dred-and-Seventy-eighth New York volunteer infantry, commanded by 
Captain A. W. Colwell, Third Rhode Island Heavy Artillery. 

" Battery Stevens, — Immediately to the left of Battery Reno. Distance 
from Fort Sumter, 4278 yards. Armament, — Two 100-pounder Parrott 
rifles, Garmon.— Detachments of Company C, First United States Ar- 
tillery, and Seventh Connecticut volunteer infantry, commanded by First 
Lieutenant James E. Wilson, Fifth United States Artillery. 

" Battery iSSfron^.— Immediately to the left of Battery Stevens. Dis- 
tance from Fort Sumter, 4290 yards. Armament, — One 10-inch Parrott 
rifle, (?arrMon.— Detachment of Seventh Connecticut volunteer infan- 
try, under Captain S. H. Gray.'* 

Summed up, the guns were — ^two 80-pounder Whitworths, 
nine 100-pounder Parrotte, six 200-pounder Parrotts, and one 
300-pounder Parrott ; in all, eighteen rifle-guns in eight batter- 
ies, throwing a ton of metal in the aggregate at each discharge. 

First Day. — ^At five o^clock on the morning of the 17th of 
August, 1863, b^an the first heavy bombardment of Fort Sum- 
ter by the Union forces on Morris Island. According to Major- 
General Gillmore, it terminated, after seven days' firing, in the 
demolition of the fort. But the fort was not silenced until the 
night of the 1st of September, or it may be said until the end of 
the sixteenth day. At the close of the seventh day the fort could 
fire from its barbette battery of the right flank two 10-inch 
columbiads and one Xl-inch Dahlgren gun. 

On the first day eleven rifles only were employed against the 
fort — viz. two 80-pounders, five 100-pounders, and four 200- 
pounders — some throwing shell (with percussion fuzes), others 
throwing shot.* The fire was almost entirely directed upon the 
left flank and face, taking the latter in reverse. By 9 A. M. up- 
ward of two hundred shots had been fired, the practice being 
astonishingly accurate and the eflects severe. One shell, explod- 

* Brigadier-General Turner reports to Major-General Gillmore that Battery 
Kirby threw shells from two 10-inch sea-coast mortars. But this must have 
been at Wagner, not nt Sumter, which was much too distant. No mortar-fir- 
ing on Sumter is chronicled by the Confederates until after the Union forces 
had gained possession of the northern end of Morris Island, September 7, 1863. 


ing in the third story of the eastern barracks, wounded six men ; 
in the parade and elsewhere two others were soon after wounded 
and one was killed. The last was struck, while standing close 
under the cover of the gorge in the south-eastern angle of the 
parade, by the flying back of the base of a Parrott shell which 
exploded diagonally across the parade, a hundred yards or more 
distant. The singular precision with which this large mass flew 
backward on its line of fire, and the fact that, later in this 
bombardment, another man lost a leg in the same spot and 
from the same cause, may have been due to the pattern of the 
shell, which is very light near the base and heavy at the point 
or apex of the cone. 

The fleet of iron-clads and gunboats had engaged the works 
on Morris Island from an early hour. At 10.45 A. M. one mon- 
itor and four gunboats opened on Fort Sumter very inefi5ectively 
at long range. By 11 a. M. the total firing from land and sea 
amounted to about five hundred shots. The shock of the 200- 
pounder Parrott bolts striking the scarp of the gorge could be 
plainly felt by any one standing or sitting in the upper case- 
mates of the right face; that is, entirely across the parade. 
At 11.10 A.M. the fort opened with the Xl-inch (Keokuk) 
gun, and the entire barbette battery of the right flank upon 
the iron-clads at long range, and continued firing until they 
withdrew at 12.30 p. m. Sixty-four rounds were expended 
with no observable result. 

The fire of the land-guns slackened between 1 and 2 p. m. 
Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley, commanding First Military 
District of South Carolina, visited the fort and inspected 
damages. The vigor of the bombardment was soon resumed, 
and maintained until darkness set in. Then it slackened again 
to about one shot in fifteen minutes from 30- and 100-pounder 
rifles, and so continued all night. 

The parapet of the gorge was for more than half its length 
demolished ; the second and third stories of the western bar- 
racks, except a portion under cover of the gorge, were in ruins. 
Seven guns in barbette on the gorge, the left flank, and left face 
of the fort had been disabled. Some of the upper casemates of 
the left face had been damaged. During the day the garrison 


not on duty, as well as the working force of blacks, had found 
safe shelter under cover of the gorge or within the splinter-proof 
blindage at its base. The casualties were surprisingly few, and 
generally not serious, being nineteen in all — one enlisted man 
killed, two seriously and thirteen others slightly wounded. The 
following oflScers were also slightly wounded : Lieutenants John 
Middleton and Julius M. Rhett, First South Carolina Artillery, 
and Lieutenant John Johnson, engineer in charge. The gar- 
rison at night lowered two 42-pounders from the ramparts into 
the parade for shipment. The working force was engaged all 
night discharging and building upon the exterior of the gorge 
fifteen hundred bags of sand, also in completing sand-filling over 
the magazines within, and in protecting with sandbags two lower 
casemates of the western front, so as to make them safe for a 

Colonel D. B. Harris, chief engineer of the department, visited 
the fort at 9 p. m., and was accompanied through his inspection 
by Colonel Alfred Rhett, commanding, and by the engineer in 

The total firing between 5 A. M. of the 17th and 5 a. M. of 
the 18th of August was 948 shots, of which 445 struck inside, 
233 struck outside, and 270 passed over the fort. 

After this first day's battering fire from those eleven rifled 
guns it became a settled conclusion that the ruin of the brick 
Fort Sumter was an assured thing, a matter of time alone. 
Henceforth it became the duty of the defense to delay the 
demolition as long as possible, and to save all material of war 
that could be spared. That night a large quantity of ammuni- 
tion and stores was removed from the fort to Sullivan's Island.* 

* The operations of this day (17th) included a heavy cannonade of Bat- 
teries Wagner and Gregg by the entire naval forces of the enemy, even the 
gunboats taking part at long range. The fire of Wagner upon the breaching- 
batteries of the second parallel engaged upon Fort Sumter was effective and 
galling. Not even the mortars and lighter rifles of the land-batteries, aided 
by the fleets could entirely subdue the pugnacious little fort, doing good ser- 
vice for Sumter. It was not until some of the heavy battering-gims, mounted 
for the exclusive benefit of the latter, had been turned on Wagner that the 
annoyance ceased. (Gillmore.) 

So likewise on the sea-faoe Wagner's two lO-inch columbiads and one rifled 


Secx)ND Day. — On the morning of the 18th the fire was 
resumed heavily with three more guns, making for the second 
day a total of fourteen. The gorge directly and the left face in 
revei'so received mast of the battering. It was found tliat the 
counterforts of stone masonry erected on tlie exterior of the 
gorge a year before for the protection of the lower magazines 
were unhurt. Brick masonry, used to continue them up to the 
level of the upper magazines and not two months old, was badly 
damaged. But then these upper magazines had been already 
abandoned, and there was nothing to be feared from them. The 
western half of the gorge, partly protected with sandbag work, 
showed little damage except on the level of the parapet. This 
was more or less demolished, and at the angle of the fort nearest 
Morris Island a large crater, opened by the day's battering, just 
below the crest, revealed the purpose of the enemy to undermine 
and topple over the heavy traverse of sandbags which had just 
been raised at that important point. 

An evidence of the immense power of the Union artillery, 
and of the combined effect of those heavy shocks already de- 
scribed as being felt from one end of the fort to the other, was 
given in the discovery of a remarkable crack in the main wall 
of the fort, from the parapet continuously and perpendicularly 
down to the berme or rocky base at the water's edge. The crack 
was visible for its whole length, forty feet, being one-quarter of 
an inch open at the parapet, diminishing to one-sixteenth of an 
inch at the base. It was not quite so plain on the inside of the 
wall. As it was found on the scarp of the western or city front, 
in no connection whatever with the marks of firing, but near the 
angle made by that front with the gorge, it may be accounted 
for by supposing that the vibrations of the gorge-scarp under its 

and banded 32-ponnder fought tlie fleet. (For effect upon New Ironsides, see 
Appendix B.) Soon after the monitor Catskill engaged the work a 10-incIi 
shot from "Wagner, striking the top of the pilot-house, phattered the inner 
plating and caused the instant death of Commander George W. Rodgers nnd 
Acting Assistant Paymaster J. G. Woodbury, together with the wounding of 
two others. Battery Gregg made good practice on the monitors, striking the 
Passaic (flag) with repeated shots. Battery Wagner was but little damaged, 
but sustained a serious loss in the death of Captain J. M. Wampler of the 
Engineers. (See Colonel Keitt's ftili report in Appendix.) 


heavy blows would be arrested by the inertia of the adjacent 
untouched scarp-wall on the left, and that just there, at the ful- 
crum of leverage, the fracture would occur. In support of this 
it may be added that the masonry of the scarp-wall throughout 
the fort was nowhere tied or bonded into the masonry of the 
piers and arches of the casemates, but was merely in contact, 
and the more liable on this accouqt to show the effect of the 

Inside the fort the work of destruction was becoming more 
apparent. The western barracks were ruined, the casemates of 
the left fa<Je, both upper and lower, were considerably damaged 
and weakened by the heavy fire in reverse, which was cutting 
away the piers, and had already brought down one of the upper 
arches, in its fall breaking the level of the terreplein and uncov- 
ering the inside face of the scarp-wall. The spiral staircase in 
this vicinity was nearly destroyed. More guns were disabled, 
including two valuable 10-inch columbiads in open air on the 
right face, taken in reverse. The garrison flag, twice cut away, 
was gallantly replaced by Private John Drury, Company B, 
assisted by Sergeant Schaffer. The casualties were slight, three 
men having been wounded. 

The working force was put on immediately after dark, and, 
as there was no firing on the fort during this night, its labor was 

During this, the second day of the cannonade, 876 shots were 
fired, 452 striking outside, 244 iuside, and the remainder passing 
over the fort.* 

Third Day. — As early as the light permitted on the morn- 
ing of the third day the batteries opened with the addition of 

* This day (18th) the trenches of the Federal approach were flooded with 
water from the spring-tide, driven hy a gale from the north-east. The New 
Ironsides, with two monitors and some gunboats, again cannonaded the bat- 
teries of Morris Island ; the New Ironsides alone threw 805 shells on this and 
the previous day into Wagner. It appears from despatxihes that Major- General 
Oillmore looked for a sortie in force from Wagner early this morning to raise 
th.e siege and stop the firing on Sumter; but it has been already recorded in a 
previous chapter that snch a step was considered impracticable on accoimt of 
limited transportation. 


one more gun, making fifteen. Before noon a shot passed en- 
tirely through the gorge, finding an opening between the under 
side of a rampart arch and the sand and cotton filling of one of 
the upper rooms. The mass had begim to settle a little, and the 
shot, plunging through, dropped in the parade of the fort. On 
subsequent inspection, at 12 m., the scarp of the gorge appeared 
to have been breached by several shots striking about the same 
place, under the crown of the arch ; but this was the only mis- 
sile that passed through the gorge that day, or indeed during the 
whole of this first bombardment. As a nile, the scarp of the 
gorge was thoroughly sustained by the backing of the filled-in 
rooms, formerly the officers' quarters, assisted by the accumula- 
tion of debris falling on the outside from the parapet above and 
caught in places by the unfinished sandbag work and stone coun- 
terforts of the exterior. 

The firing in reverse received by*the northern casemates was 
very destructive. Four upper and three lower embrasures had 
been more or less shattered. - In the afternoon a 42-pounder 
gun was seen to fall, with its carriage, chassis, and circle all 
together, from the terreplein into the ruins beneath ; the sustain- 
ing piers of its arch had been finally shot away. 

Brigadier-General Ripley visited the fort at 5 P. M., and soon 
afl^r the iron-clad squadron moved up as if to attack or recon- 
noitre ; the vessels, however, lay at long range and did not open 
fire. Fort Sumter took four shots at them with the Keokuk's 
gun, and they withdrew, magnanimously declining to reply, but 
shelling Morris Island as they went. 

The fire on the fort slackened as usual at dark, but at long 
intervals was kept up all night. The repairing of damages, and 
chiefly the securing of two lower casemates for hospital purposes 
on the city front, occupied the working force. Mr. T. A. p]vans 
reported for duty, relieving Messi*s. E. J. White and W. E. 
Mikcll, assistant engineers. 

Tlie total firing on the third day and night reached 780 shot^, 
of which 408 struck outside, 241 inside, and 131 passed over. 
The casualties were limited to one killed and four wounded.^ 

^ The approaches of the Federals on Morris Island this day (19th) were 
kept up, but, being checked by the sharpshooters and artillery, the progress 


Fourth Day. — Three new guns, one of them a 10-ineh 
Parrott rifle, known as a 300-pounder, were added to the bat- 
tering engines on the next day, being the fourth of the bom- 
bardaient. There were, in all, eighteen rifles, 100-, 200-, and 
300-pouuders, firing from the now completed breaehing-batteries 
upon Fort Sumter. The direction of the firing had been mainly 
upon the centre and left of the fort ; it began this day to incline 
more to the right, threatening the few remaining serviceable 
guns of the right face and flank. 

On the eastern half of the gorge four upper rooms had been 
partially uncovered by the falling away of the scarp-wall, but 
the wet sand and cotton-bales resisted firmly at that level, while 
the debris, accumulating and reaching a height of fifteen feet, 
effectually, strengthened the remaining work for at least two- 
thirds of its height. The western half of the gorge was all the 
more favorably circumstanoed, having, besides the debris, its 
unfinished sandbag work of from ten to fifteen feet thickness. 
>kt thai the prolonged stabUity of the gorge as an effectual cover to 
the southern half of the parade could now be counted upon. For 
the same reason the safety of the lower piagazineSy the only maga- 
zines then used, could be reasonably expected. These were most 
jjatisfactory conclusions, and did much to encourage the defense 
i»f the post. On the other hand, this very protection to the 
gt)rge furnished in places from this day forward a practicable 
slope fn)ra the water's edge for an assault by small boats. 

A very singular incident occurred in the course of this day's 
(unnonadB. The circumstances were as follows : It was reported 
that a shell had penetrated the gorge and passed through the old 
sally-port into the parade. This was incredible, knowing that 
the sally-port had been closed and protected on the exterior with 
'^uidbag work twenty feet in thickness. On examination, the 
report was proved to be untrue, but a strange thing had hap- 

wasslow. From one point in particular, about two hundred and forty yards 
in from of Wagner — the " ridge," as it was called— there was an eflTective fire 
of small-arms maintained on the trenches. The flanking fire from the Con- 
federate batteries, multiplying on the shore of James Island, though at long 
ningfe, was now beginning to be felt by the Federals, and required more cau- 
tion on their part. The New Ironsides alone engaged Wagner during the 



pened. A rifle shell with percussion fuze had struck the gorge- 
wall six feet above its base, to the right or east of the heavy 
siindbag work and in an angle of the caponni^e, but its slant 
direction of fire, nearly 45°, had turned it toward the open arch- 
way of the sally-port and away from the wet cotton-packed room 
that would otherwise have stopped it. Still, it had not penetrated 
through to the interior; only the fuze-plug had done so, making 
its own narrow track, and leaving the shell buried in the wall 
some twelve inches behind it. The fuze-plug had passed into 
the open space and was picked up in the parade. The accom- 
panying sketch will illustrate this curious occurrence. It was a 

^ALLY "Port 


chance shot, causing no casualty ; and as the debris on the out- 
side soon piled up so as to protect the wall almost as effectually 
as the sandbag work, no other shot ever again penetrated in the 
same locality. 

The firing in reverse on the interior of the left face had at 
length opened a clear breach of eight feet horizontal by ten feet 
vertical in the wall of the upper casemates. This first wide gap 
of ruin was a sad sight to those who remembered the old fort 
in its glory. Other breaches in the same region were progress- 
ing, but this was the first and the largest ; it corresponded 
with the locality of greatest damage in the crest of the gorg^e, 
and served to mark tlie central line or focus of fire as the fort 


was presented to the batteries. (It is shown on the interior 
view at page 166.) 

The working force was busily engaged all night increasing 
the sandbag protection on the exterior of the western maga- 
zine and securing the hospital casemates in the same vicinity. 
There was no firing on the fort during the night. The garri- 
son was employed in removing and shipping twenty-five thou- 
sand pounds of powder and other ammunition. 

The total firing of the fourth day was 879 shots, of which 
408 struck outside, 241 inside, and 131 passed over the fort. 
There were three slight casualties.' 

Fifth Day. — With the regularity of clockwork the cannon- 
ade of the fifth day opened as usual, but with the direction of 
fire changed to the eastern half of the fort. The hours of day- 
light, from 5 A. M. to 7 p. M., were fourteen, and these, with a 
slight slackening at the dinner-hour, were continuously occupied 
in the service of the breaching-batteries. It is described by the 
Union authorities as having been very arduous : even passing 
to and from the batteries added to the fatigue ; the camp on the 
southern end of Morris Island was nearly a mile to the rear of 
ihem, the intervening ground being within range of the Confed- 
erate flanking-batteries on James Island. The tour of duty for 
a relief with the breaching-batteries was four houi*s on and eight 
off; each gun had three reliefs of cannoneers, with two or three 
others for magazine service. Heavy labor incurred in handling 
the weighty projectiles for the service of the pieces was spe- 
cially provided for by fatigiie-parties regularly detailed for the 
work. Brigadier-Greneral Turner, chief of artillery, reports to 
Major-General Gillmore : " The precision of fire of the Parrott 
rifles was remarkable, probably excelling any artillery ever 
before brought on the field in siege operations." And in this 
testimony all the Confederate authorities fully concur. 

' The Ironsides, with four gunboats, continued to shell the garrisons of the 
■dvanced works on Morris Island all this day (20th of August) Three 
Confederate batteries on James Island, Simkins, Cheves, and Haskell, now 
flanked with annoying fire the Federal approaches on Morris Island, although 
mounting only smoothbore guns and distant from three to four thousand 


The fire on this fifth day^ as has been said, was plainly direct- 
ed upon the right face (in reverse) and in enfilade of the right 
or eastern flank of the fort. The guns in open air on this flank 
had been heavily traversed and further protected with racrlons, 
but the enemy's artillery was too strong for them. One 10-inch 
and one 8-inch columbiad on the flank, and one 10-inch colum- 
biad with two banded and rifled 42s on the adjoining face, were 
soon disabled. The eastern scarj) began to show some damage 
from even the slant fire it was now receiving, large craters 
having been opened under each of the heavy traverses, and 
the parajKJt having been demolished at the south-eastern angle. 
The stone counterfort of the magazine at this angle was uoliurt, 
being protected with debris. 

At noon, Colonel A. Rhett, commanding, with Major O. 
Blandiug, Captain F. H. Harleston, and Lieutenant J. John- 
son, engineer in charge, held a conference on the subject of 
defense. About sunset General Beaur^ard, accompanied by 
Colonel J. Gilmer and Lieutenant-Colonel Harris of the corps 
of Engineers, visited and inspected the fort. Brigadier- 
General Ripley and stafl* came for the same purpose at 
10 p. M. 

The working force having begun to show signs of great 
fatigue, consequent upon the difficulty of sleeping in the day- 
time during the noise of the bombardment, requisition was 
made for a fresh relief of labor. More powder, nine thousand 
seven hundred pounds, was shipped at night. 

The firing of the day, there being none at night, amounted 
to 943 shots, of which 430 struck outside, 320 inside, and 193 
pa&sed over the fort. The casualties were two men severely 
and four slightly wounded.* 

' About 11 A. M. this day (2l6t of August) a demand from Brigadier-General 
Gillmore on General Beauregard for "the immediate evacuation of Morris 
Island and Fort Sumter" was delivered near Fort Wagner. No answer hav- 
ing been received within the time stipulated, four hours, the Fetleral com- 
mander ordered fire to be opened on the city of Charleston about two o^clock 
in the morning, when shells from the Marsh Battery were thrown among 
the sleeping inhabitants without any practical warning having been given 
them. It appears that some accident and misunderstanding were at the bot- 
tom of this ; for, through difficulties of transportation, through the abaence of 


Sixth Day. — Soon after the fire opened this morning the 
fine 7-inch Brooke rifle at the south-eastern angle was disabled, 
and later a 10-ineh columbiad and a rifled and banded 42- 
pounder shared the same fate. There were thus left; only four 
guns In serviceable condition at this juncture. At quarten-past 
12 the principal flagstaif in the salient, which had been repeat- 
edly splintered, fell crashing into the parade, and the colors 
were henceforth flown from the crest of the gorge. At 5 P. M., 
in consequence of a communication by the French consul with 
the fleet, the fire slackened and ceased. It had amounted to 604 
shots, of which 203 struck outisde, 216 inside, and 185 passed 
over the fort. There were no casualties. 

During the night repairs were made on the merlons and 
traverses of the eastern or right flank, which had been greatly 
injured by the day's firing. But the work was interrupted, 
first by a necessary transfer and relief of hands, and last by 
an attack of the iron-clad squadron. One hundred and twelve 
fresh hands were received, two hundred and sixteen were 
sent off, and the force remaining numbered two hundred and 

Xt 3 A. M. five monitors — ^the Weehawken (flag), Montauk, 
Xahant, Patapsco, and Passaic — anchored about 800 yards (Dahl- 
gren) from the fort and opened fire. The early morning was 
%g>'> *i"<l tJ^'s, with the darkness, gave the vessels great ad- 
vantage — one, in fact, that it is strange they did not ofl^ner 
take. The first shell, passing over the eastern wall, struck and 

Oeneral Beauregard from the city, and through the omission of Brigadier- 
General Gillmore's signature from the demand, much time was lost, and the 
opportunity of warning the citizens before retiring to rest was not given. 
The demand was returned, for signature, and then formally refused by the 
comoNinder. The Federal commander afterward extended the time, giving 
two days' notice, and suspending the bombardment of the city until the night 
of the 23d of August. 

The New Ironsides, with one monitor and two gunboats, engaged Wagner, 
the land-batteries joining in toward evening! An attack of infantry made 
opon the "ridge" at dusk was repulsed, the Confederates l>eing reinforced 
promptly by Brigadier-General Hagood, commanding at Wagner. Among 
the casualties of the day at the post was the death of Captain Robert Prin- 
gle, of Lucas's battalion of artillery, a meritorious young officer from the 
city of Charleston. 


mortally wounded a sentinel on the top of the western wali. 
His piercing screams were remarkable, and must have been 
heard by the enemy. As heard by those in the fort, the sound 
they made, breaking upon the stillness of- the night, was longer 
to be remembered than the loud artillery. About fifty shot 
and shell, one-third missing the mark, were discharged at the 
fort. Three shells were thrown with accuracy into the imme- 
diate neighborhood of the western magazine, giving cause for 
alarm, but doing no injury ; one sent bricks and dust down the 
ventilator from a height of thirty feet ; and another, exploding 
in the upper casemates, threw a fragment into the ordnance 
store-room, where three hundred loaded shells were kept ready 
for service : this room was adjoining the magazine. The com- 
manding officer, Colonel Rhett, instantly ordered a detail of 
one hundred men to roll down into the water these dangerous 
explosives, and it was done under the sui>erintendence of Lieu- 
tenants Iredell Jones and William H. Grimball. The moni- 
tors drew upon themselves the fire of Sumter, Gregg, Moultrie, 
Bee, and Beauregard. Sumter fired only six shots from two 
guns, the Keokuk's Xl-inch Dahlgren and a 10-inch colum- 
biad : they were all that were left in a serviceable condition, 
and they were the last filled in action from the cnunblhig walls 
of the fort The vessels could not be seen at all from Sulli- 
van's Island until after four o'clock, when it grew lighter, and 
then the first reply came from Fort Moultrie. Indistinctly 
seen as the monitors were, they were repeatedly hit by the 
guns on Sullivan's Island (Dahlgren). About 5.30 a. m. tliev 
withdrew from action. 

Together with the night-firing, that of the day (August 22d) 
amounted to 654 shots, of which 220 struck outside, 230 in- 
side, and the remainder passed over the fort. The casniilties 
were — one mortally and four sligiitly wounded.* 

Seventh Day. — The- land-batteries opened on the fort, as 

^ Tlie services of the New Ironsi(1es and two monitors were found necessary 
this day (22d of August) to snlxliie the fire of Wagner npon the approaching 
sap and the most advanced breach ing-hatlery. The navy purposed attacking 
Sumter before daylight, but failed to do so, coming in the nexi morning, as 


usual, just after daylight, and continued firing upon the right 
face and flank. At 2 p. m. a shell, descending on the northern 
end of the eastern barracks, passed through the roof, and, break- 
ing the brick-arched floor of the third story, threw down into 
the room below large masses of brick and mortar upon some offi- 
cers at table eating dinner. Colonel A. Rhett escaped with a cut 
from his dinner-knife broken in his hand; Captain D. G. Flem- 
ing was unhurt ; Adjutant S. C. Boylston was painfully, Lieu- 
tenant E. S. Fickling, and Lieutenant C. A. Scanlan, ordnance 
officer, were slightly wounded; an orderly entering the room 
was also hurt 

The firing ceased at 6.30 P. M. The eastern wall was very 
much injured, and in places deeply penetrated. Its parapet was 
badly shattered, owing somewhat to the fire of the monitors the 
night before ; the service of the only two remaining 10-inch 
guns was rendered difficult, and the Xl-inch Dahlgren alone 
continued in good condition.' 

Work was begun at once on the interior (or parade) exposure 
of the western magazine, to protect it from such another fire in 
reverse as it had received from the monitors, and might receive 
again before another morning dawned. This was felt to be 
a critical place and a critical time. Lieutenant-Colonel Har- 
ris, chief engineer, visited the fort after midnight, and was 
a(xx)mpanied by the engineer in charge in an inspection of 

The flagstaff*, planted at this date on the crest of the gorge, had 
been twice shot away from that point, and had been previously 
deprived of its colors seven times. The garrison found hard 
work ready for it in the shipment from the fort of more powder 
and ordnance stores. The casualties of the day and night were 
two severely and four slightly wounded ; the total number of 
*ots fired was 633, of which 282 struck outside, 210 inside, and 

* Simultaneously with the firing on Sumter this day (23d) there was some 
httvT shelling of Wagner by both the land and naval guns, the little fort 
mantkging to get in uot a few damaging shots upon the head of the sap, and 
«1« U|K)n the New Ironsides, her chief tormentor. A fine launch, cut away 
by a shot from the latter, drifted ashore and was captured. Lieutenant-Colonel 
P- C. Gaillard, commanding the Charleston battalion, lost his left hand at 
Wagner this da v. 


the remainder missed the fort Fort Sumter was practically 
demolished, though not yet silenced. 

Note.— On the night of the 2l8t-22d of August the 8-inch rifle opened 
on the city from the Marsh Battery, range 7900 yards. 

" Colonel E. W. Serrell, the constructor, says that the dbtinctive features 
of the Marsh Battery as a work of engineering were * that the gun-platform 
was placed upon a gun-deck resting upon vertical sheet piling, outside and 
around which there was a grillage of logs. If the gun and the other weights 
upon the gun-deck were heavy enough to tend to sink in the mud, the weight 
utK)n the grillage, in the form of sand in bags, which formed the parapet and 
epaulement of the battery, by being increased counterpoised the gun-deck. It 
was simply a force meeting another force of a like amount in an opposite 
direction.' The English journal, Engineainfff in its review of the operations 
of the Federal and Confederate armies, at the close of the war, speaks of the 
construction of thb battery as one of the most important engineering works 
done by either army. It was a successful piece of difficult engineering, and a 
practical method of inflicting damage on a city nearly five miles distant, re- 
gardless of its army, its cannon, and its great fortifications, which were within 
close sight and easy range." (Battles and LeaderSy Century Company.) 

The *' Swamp Angel," so called by the Union soldiers, was purchased, with 
a number of other condemned cannon, at the close of the war by the late 
Cliarles Carr, founder, of Trenton, N. J. It lay at his foundry several years, 
and, being loth to melt such an historical relic, he united with a number 
of public-spirited citizens and took means for the preservation of the piece. 
A pedestal nearly twenty feet high was erected at the junction of Clinton and 
Perry streets, just beyond the Normal School buildings, and the cannon w:i8 
hoisted to its position on the summit. Six lamps are placed beside it and a 
drinking- fountain is beneath. The following is an exact copy of the inscrip- 
tion cut in the brownstone. As will be observed, it is guiltless of a single 
punctuation-mark : 

•* The Swamp AnffelJ*— The first gun an 8 inch Parrott rifle or 200 pounder 
fired from the Marsh Battery on Morris Island South Carolina at the city of 
Charleston 7000 yards weight of gun 16500 pounds and of projectile 150 pounds 
charge of powder 16 pounds greatest elevation used 35^ bombardment opened 
August 21 1863 burst 36th round." {Philadelphia Times,) 



Ausrtist 24th-September 2d. 

Description of Cannonade— Great Loss of Material by the Port- 
Supplied ONLY BY Sand and other Material brought Niohtlt 
FROM the City— Failure of the Union Commanders to iNviaBT 
Morris Island— The Second Period marked by a Decline in 
Fire— Particular Damage done by the 300-pounder Parrott 
Rifle — Notes of Interest concerning the Gun — Council of De- 

AND oi*HER Officers — General Beauregard determines to De- 
fend TME Fort to the Last Extremity— Changes in the Garri- 
son— Iisfantry Troops sent down to Assist the Artillerists — 
The Work of saving Dismounted Guns from the Ruins begun by 
Assistant Engineer J. Eraser Mathewes— The Steamer Sumter, 
transporting Confederate Troops on the Harbor, sunk by the 
Guns op Fort Moultrie— Severe Night-attack by the Iron-clad 


Hours* Duration, more Serious than that of April 7th— Fort 
Sumter at length Silenced— The Magazine Escapes from Three 
Well-aimed Shells— The Squadron's Fire Returned with Ef- 
fect from Sullivan's Island— The Fort left with few Places 
OF Safety, and open to Assault on the Gorge, but with Massive 
Barriers of Earthwork next to the Enemy— After Sixteen 
Days^ Bombardment Fort Sumter Loses all Offensive Charac- 
ter FOR Six Weeks. 

What may be called the first period of the first bombard- 
ment of Fort Sumter closed with the operations of the 23d 
of August For seven days the breaehing-batteries of General 
Gillmore were served vigorously against the fort. Their pon- 
derous missiles, thrown with great precision of aim and with a 
ninge beyond all precedent, had wellnigh done their work of 
tetroying the strong artillery post. An observer from its 



battered walls could watch the shot and shell rising from little 
clouds of white smoke far away among the low hills of Morris 
Island. Sometimes, two or three in sight at once, they would 
come rushing on their way, and as they neared the fort would 
be heard hissing and tearing through the air straight to their 
mark — ^at one moment, to bury themselves far within the solid 
masonry ; at another, to crush the mass to fragments, sending up 
clouds of dust or scattering the debris to the winds and waves.' 
So charged with gases did the ruined heaps become that one 
could see the smoke escaping slowly from the crevices of the 
mass, as from the crater of a volcano, long after the force of 
the shell had been expended ; and the peculiar odor of the per- 
cussion-powder used for the fuze-plug of the shell so pervaded 
everything that the air in the fort seemed to be entirely com- 
posed of it. One singular circumstance attending this heavy 
firing of the first bombardment was that, owing to the great dis- 
tance of some of the guns, the report of the gun firing a shell 
would be almost merged into the sound of the bursting of the 
shell it^Hjlf at the fort. 

The decisive marking of this first period was made by Gen- 
eral Gilhnore's despatch to Washington on the 24th, reporting 
. " the practical demolition of Fort Sumter as the result of our 
seven days' bombardment of that work." In correspondence 
with Admiral Dahlgren, General Gillmore expresses at this time 
his confidence that " the offensive power of Sumter was entirely 
destroyed from to-day's (August 23d) firing ;" and he further 
advocates the immediate investment of Morris Island by closing 
communication at night with a complete cordon of army and navy 
picket-boats around Cumming's Point. The admiral, it appears, 
had agreed with the general as to the practicability of the above 

* This wasting of material was ononnons: it was bo much lost from the de- 
fensive power of the fort, and nothing but neic material brought for repairs 
could replace it. It has been a popular but a serious mistake to represent that 
the protection of Fort Sumter was mainly due to the debris accumulating 
from its own demolition and protecting the garrison by its fortuitous piling up 
of rubbish. The debris alone could never have sufficed for the defense of the 
fort, however skilfully disposed. An ex[>ression commonly used h:is been that 
"tlie more the fort was battered, tlie stronger it became.'* Notliing could be 
farther from the truth, except with the understanding that new material was 
constantly required and supplied. 


plan ; and it could have been rendered still more formidable by 
the application of the calcium lights which the general had been 
perfecting, so as to illuminate the approach to the island from 
Fort Sumter and the city. Yet, with all the advantages of this 
perfectly practicable scheme, it appears never to have been 
attempted. Indeed, the co-operation of the navy and army in 
thus investing the island could just as well have been secured 
for the plan at a much earlier date, and the Confederate troops 
on the island have been starved into terms and captured.^ 

Day after day, for upward of five weeks, the communications 
of Morris Inland had been completely commanded by the Union 
batteries, and when night set in the supply and relief of Morris 
Island by the Confederates had to be made under great risks 
and difiBculties, It only needed a combined dash of the ene- 
my's barges from within and from the outside to have entirely 
interrupted the communication. It would have been a fight 
with small-arms at night on the water, in which the batteries 
could not have taken part for fear of injuring friend as well as 
foe ; and the issue could not have been doubtful.* 

The second period of the first bombardment of Fort Sumter 
dates from the morning of the 24th of August. As a period it 
was marked by a great decline in the firing of the breaching- 
batteries. During six days, from the 24th to the 29th inclu- 
sive, the fort received a constantly lessening fire ; then, on the 
morning of the 30th, a heavy cannonade began again, declin- 
ing on the 31st of August, but resumed with full vigor on the 
•1st of September ; and at lengthy with the naval attack on the 
fort on the night of 1st and 2d of September, the first bom- 
bardment in both periods came to its end. It will be neces- 
ssLTv now to particularize. 

During these nine days of the second period the demolition 
of the fort was greatly increased by the firing of the 300-pounder 

^ GiUmore, Operations, 137. 

' An attempt of this kind on the night of AugriiHt 24th, or what is called 
"the first assault on Gre$rg/' is described with full particulars by the writer 
«f a paper on the ** Confederate Defense of Morris Island." (See Charleston 
Yenr-Bookf 188^,) But after diligent search for other authorities I have been 
nnable to find any mention whatever, by either side, of such an occurrence.-— 


Parrott rifle. In one day it threw fifteen thousand pounds' weight 
of metal.* It was directed against the exterior of tlie right flank 
and the interior of the right face of the Work. One shot, strik- 
ing in reverse the uj)per tier of casemates, cracked a massive 
pier entirely through and partially destroyed it. The thickness 
on the line of fire was seven feet ; squarely across, five feet. 
The pier, one-half brick with a filling of concrete, had been 
built twelve years. Another evidence of this rapid power of 
destruction occurred later, on the 30th of August, when after 
eight hours' battering in the same vicinity it destroyed one entire 
casemate arch, bringing down the ien-eplein with giin, carriage, 
etc. These arches, built of best gray brick laid in cement, were 
twenty-two inches thick, while on the line of axis they were 
twenty-one feet long. 

The same work of destruction required three or four days 
the week before on the part of the 100- and 200-pounder rifles. 
Still more, on the 1st of September the effect of its fire was to 
culminate in the fall, at the same instant, of four upper case- 
mates, with terreplein, platforms, and guns. The following 
notes relative to this powerful rifle will be found interesting in 
this place: 

*'The 10-inch required a little greater elevation, to attain the same 
range, than the 8-inch, but was more accurate. It was mounted on an 
iron carriage with a centre-pintle chassis, and worked with great ease. 
Steps were cut in the parapet upon which Nos. 1 and 2 mounted to load : 
the projectiles were carried on hand-barrf>ws. Unfortunately, it wa^* 
disabled soon after opening fire by a premature explosion of a shell near 
its muzzle, which blew off about eighteen inches of its length. It was 

repaired, etc The gun was fired three hundred and seventy times 

after this, without any appreciable difference in the range or accuracy 
being noticed. Subsequently, it was completely disabled by continued 
premature explosions of shells near the muzzle." (Gillmore, Appendix.) ' 

It was on the 24th of August, at the close of the day, that 

» W. W. H. Davis. 

' *'The 300-ponnder jrave great trouble before it was got into (losition. It 
WHS transported more than a mile from the dock through deep sands and 
across semi-marsh overflowed by the tide. It broke down three sling-cart.s. 
It was about a week on the way, and in the daytime it was covered with brush 
and weeds to conceal it from the enemy." (General Davis, Philadelphia Timrnj 
"Annals of the War.") 


Colonel J. F. Gilmer/ chief engineer of bureau, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel D. B. Harris, chief engineer of department, reached the 
fort, under orders from General Beauregard, to convene a coun- 
cil of defense with officers of the post. Accordingly, Colonel 
Rhett, Major Blanding, and Captain Harleston of the garrison, 
with Lieutenant Johnson, engineer in charge, met the senior 
engineers in conference. The minutes of the conference have 
been preserved in full by General Beauregard,^ and may be 
read also in the Appendix of this chapter. 

The chief engineers, on returning to the city, reported to the 
general commanding that they had visited the fort, "made a 
careful examination of its condition, and held a consultation 
with a portion of its officers." So far from thinking it advis- 
able to abandon the fort, they thought it should be held to the 
last extremity. "How long it may hold out," they say, "is 
now only a matter of conjecture, but there are many elements 
of defense within the fort in its present shattered condition 
which if properly used may enable a resolute garrison to hold 

' Head-qua RTESs Dept. op South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, ) 
Charleston, S. C, August 31, 1863. i 

{Qenmit Orders So, 95.) 

Major-General J. F. Gilmer,- P. A. C. S., having reported for duty in con- 
nection with the defense of Charleston, is announced to the forces as second in 
command to the commanding general. He will be obeyed and respected aooord- 

By command of General Beauregard. 

(Signed) Thomas Jordan, 

Oiief of Staff. 
Official : Clifton H. Smith, 

A. A. GeneraJ. 
September 2d. 

This officer, a native of North Carolina, was graduated at West Point in 
1839, and was appointed the same year lieutenant of Engineers, serving in the 
United States army, and rising to the rank of major. He resigned at the 
outbreak of the war, and entered the Confederate army imder General A. 
Sidney Johnston. He participated in the battles of Fort Henry, Donel- 
»on, and Shiloh, being wounded at the latter place. Subsequently he rose 
to be colonel and chief engineer at Richmond; and then, having been 
ordered to Charleston, he was made major-general and ranked second in 
command. After the war he made Savannah, Georgia, his home, and there 
he died Dec 1, 1883. 

' MilUary OperalunUf vol. ii. chapter xzxiii. 


it for many days." The oommanding general approved their 
report with emphatic words, as follows: 

Head-quabteks Depart. S. C, Oa., and Fi^orida, ) 
Charleston, S. C, Aug. 26, 1863. ) 


The opinion of Colonel Gilmer and Lieutenant-Colonel Harris of the 
Engineers is approved. Fort Sumter must be held to the last extremity 
— i. e. not surrendered until it becomes impossible to hold it longer with- 
out an unnecessary sacrifice of human life. Evacuation of the fort must 
not be contemplated an instant without positive orders from these head- 
quarters. G. T. Beauregard, 

General Oomdg, 

As the bombardment progressed the garrison as well as the 
working force would be actively employed every night, the 
former in the removal of powder, ordnance, and other stores 
from the fort ; the latter in unloading material for repairs and 
in preserving shelter for the garrison and itself. Over fifty-six 
thousand pounds of powder, together with large quantities of 
shells, loaded and unloaded, were shipped — ^a delicate and dan- 
gerous operation at any time, and particularly so under fire, 
though at night, it must be said, the fire would be greatly slack- 
ened. Yet the crowded, narrow passages within the fort and 
the hurry at the wharf, together with the always limited trans- 
portation by boats, made this part of the garrison's duty to be 
as arduous as it was important. 

Changes, too, were going on in the garrison itself. Colonel 
Rhett continued in command, with Major Blanding and a few 
companies ; but Lieutenant-Colonel Yates had been transferred 
to the command of Fort Johnson in the inner harbor. And 
when it became necessary to relieve all but one artillery com- 
pany—viz. Captain D. G. Fleming's, Company B— detachments 
of infantiy from Colquitt's brigade of Georgians were sent down 
to the number of one hundred and fifty, under the command of 
Captain G. W. Warthen. This occurred on the night of the 
25th-26th of August, and from that date forward the garrison con- 
sisted mainly of infantry, with, usually, one company of artillery. 

As the guns of Sumter wTre becoming dismounted or disabled, 
sometimes at the rate of five or six a day^ they would be more 


or less encumbered with the ruined masonry, the splintered 
woodwork of the carriages, and the heavy irons of the plat- 
forms. But, though of^en completely covered up on the dan- 
gerous crest of the shattered walls or protruding through the 
caving, treacherous slopes of the ruined casemates, these guns, 
invaluable to the commanding general for the defense of the 
inner harbor, were never for a moment forgotten by him. As 
soon as the heavy firing of the first period of the bombardment 
had slackened, General Beaur^ard made inquiry about them^ 
Although it was thought at first to be impracticable to remove 
them under such difficulties, and a report from the artillerists 
was so made, yet the general commanding found in John Fraser 
Mathewes, assistant engineer, a man whose nerve, energy, and 
perseverance proved equal to the task. On the night of August 
27th he began operations with a gang of picked men, and before 
morning he had thrown down from the parapet, upon a cushion 
of sandbags laid for the purpose on the berme at the water's 
edge, two of the heaviest guns in the fort, made ready thus to 
be removed on a float the next night. Difficulty seemed to him 
nothi ng but opport unity. The slippery footing, the crumbling 
masses beneath the monstrous gun, the labor necessary to raise 
it, often up the hill of ruins, before it could be prepared to take 
its plunge of thirty or forty feet down from the top of the wall 
to the sandbags placed to receive it ; then the tedious work of 
moving the gun from the tide-washed rocks to the float rising 
and falb'ng with the swell of the sea, — all these were obstacles 
overcome to the saving of the guns and to the honor of this 
determined man. Others, encouraged by his success, did as 
well afterward; but Mathewes began and continued for six 
months, at intervals, the rescue of these guns from the ruins 
of Fort Sumter. His merits were promptly recognized and 
commended in a special order from department headquarters. 
He was often assisted on the water by an officer and men of the 
naval force in the harbor. Upward of twenty-five guns and 
mortars were thus recovered. Lieutenant Julius M. Rhett, First 
South Carolina Artillery, serving at Fort Sumter, put over the 
walls for shipment six or seven of the finest guns between the 
29th of August and the 4th of September : this was done with 


the labor of men from his own company, and deserves to be 
honorably mentioned. 

An accident occurred on the night of the 30th of August, 
toward the morning of the 31st, which might have proved very 
fatal and disai>trous. Troops sent on board the transport- 
steamer Simiter to relieve the batteries on Morris Island had 
. been succojssfully landed at Cumming's Point, and the boat was 
returning to the city by the channel between Sullivan's Island 
and Fort Sumter, when through some neglect in showing signals 
she was fired into by Fort Moultrie and speedily sunk. The 
troops on board were of the Twentieth South Carolina and the 
Twenty-thinl Georgia regiments, together with the artillery com- 
pany of Captain J. Raven Mathewes — in all about six hundred 
men. Fortunately, the loss was no more than about five men 
killed, others wounded, and twenty supposed to have been 
drowned, the great body of them having been rescued by boats 
sent to their assistance from the Confederate iron-clad steamers 
Chicora and Palmetto State and from Fort Sumter. The names 
of the naval officers who assisted in this work of humanity are 
not known. The boats' crews from Fort Sumter were made up 
from the garrison, and commanded by Lieutenants Iredell Jones 
and Henry M. Stuart,* who exerted themselves indefatigably in 
this volunteer serv^ice. 

In the operations against Morris Island it has been shown in 
the previous chapter that the naval force under Rear- Admiral 
Dahlgren really took a very active and important part. But 
against Fort Sumter the navy had hitherto done very little. 
Whether it was an understood thing that the army must deal 
with the fort and leave the navj' to move on the obstructions, or 
whether a wholesome lesson given on the 7th of April, 1863, 
was still remembered, cannot now be determined. It appears 
from the admiral's despatches that he did " attempt to pass the 
forts" on the nights of the 21st and 26th of August. On the 
first night he was prevented by the grounding of the Passaic; 
on the second by " bad weather, and chiefly the setting in of a 
strong flood-tide."' 

* Afterward killed at the battle of Averysboro*, North Carolina. 
' Gillmore, Appendix H. 


On neither occasion did he engage the forts. A reconnoissance, 
with some firing, was made by him about noon on the 31st of 
August, the Patapsco and Weehawken exchanging shots with 
Sullivan's Island, and later in the day, when they were joined 
by the Passaic and Montauk. The rough weather on the night 
of the 30th again prevented his movement. At last, on the 
night of .the 1st of September, after a verj' heavy cannonade all 
day by the land-batteries, the admiral came in, but yet no nearer 
than DuPont came in daylight on the 7th of April — viz. eight 
hundred yards oif the eastern angle of Sumter and fully a half 
mile from the dreaded obstructions. But his captains could now 
with impunity occupy a position from which they had before 
been driven. 

About half-past eleven o'clock six monitors, the admiral 
having his flag on the Weehawken, took position at from 700 
to 1500 yards ofl^ the fort and opened heavily upon it. They 
were joined two hours later by the New Ironsides, coming within 
1500 yards, and seen dimly from the fort through a moonlight 
much obscured by clouds. The guns from Sullivan's Island 
quickly responded to them, and for five hours the firing was 
vigorously sustained. In that time the squadron "fired 245 
shots and received in all 71 hits ; of these the Ironsides fired 
50 and received 7 ; the Passaic was hit seven times, the Montauk 
five times, and the Patapsco, among several hits, received one 
severe, penetrating shot on her deck." A round shot from Fort 
Moultrie, striking the base of the Weehawken's turret, " drove 
in a fragment of iron, which struck Fleet-Captain O. C. Badger 
on the 1^ and broke it short." 

Fort Sumter had cause to remember this night-attack. The 
east wall was now much battered and shaken by the heavy blows 
of the Xl-inch and XV-inch shells thrown by the armored ves- 
sels. Every casemate on that side, both upper and lower, was 
breached, and the filled chambers exposed more or less to view re- 
vealed to observers in the fleet the white sand within their recesses. 
Four shells entered and exploded in these filled chambers, but with 
little efiect. Many others took the western ramparts and case- 
mates in reverse, adding to the ruin already there. But the most 
dangerous fire was delivered on the western magazine with shells 


thrown over the eastern angle and searching the magazine in 
reverse. Three or four of these were alarming. One burst in 
the outer passage of the upper magazine, whence all |>owcler had 
been removed, but sent its blast down the spiral stair-tower into 
the outer passage of the lower magazine. Both doors of copj^er 
being closed no harm was done. Another shell, about to enter 
the arched passage from the parade to the magazine and hospital, 
was effectually stopi>ed by the sand-covered blindage erected at 
its entrance some days before. 

Colonel Rhett in crossing the parade had a narrow escape 
from the bursting of a large shell, which wounded slightly his 
orderly walking just behind him. 

The squadron withdrew at daybreak of the 2d, two of the 
monitors lingering as if to look for the effects of their fire. 
This attack upon Fort Sumter, in the time of its duration and 
the weight of metal thrown at the fort, was twice as severe as 
that of the 7th of April. But how different the receptions met 
by the squadron ! Instead of a crashing response from Sum- 
ter's batteries there was no reply. In grim silence the fort took 
these blows of assassination, for there was not left now a single 
gun to fire in its defense. The only two 10-inch columbiads 
left on the right flank had been put over the shattered parapet 
the night before, and the garrison detail was preparing to do the 
same witli the Xl-inch (Keokuk) gun when the squadron ap- 
peared. Being blocked up, out of fighting gear, it could not 
be used. 

The condition of the fort after this severe attack by the iron- 
clad squadron was worse than ever. Not only had it narrowly 
escajied an explosion that might have resulted from three shells 
striking in close proximity to its only magazine then in use, 
where several thousand pounds of powder yet remained stored, 
but the actual loss of material, from the battering and disinte- 
gration of the eastern scarp-wall in particular, reduced very 
seriously the chances of protecting the garrison from that direc- 
tion. True, the fire in reverse which so threatened the maga- 
zine had been provided against by careful planning and the 
completion of massive sandbag work just in time: true, the 
fiilling away of great blocks and masses, showered down from 


the exterior of the eastern wall when the X V-iiich shells would 
strike and explode, served but to reveal to the observer in the 
j«quadron the sand-filling of the upper and lower casemates, 
finished four months before, and capable now of prolonged 
resistance ; but yet the return, night after night, of such ter- 
rible agents of destruction, harassing to the garrison as well 
as damaging to the fort, was something to be dreaded. Why 
such attacks were not of regular and frequent occurrence in in- 
junction with the day firing from the land-batteries, and so the 
wearing out of the fort and its defenders hastened, as it surely 
would have been, cannot be conjectured. Perhaps the navy 
felt all the while that its real mission was to push past those 
obdmciiona — ^that the pounding of poor old, battered Sumter 
after the army had silenced it was as inglorious a work as the 
bearding of a lion in his den after his teetli and claws had all 
been extracted. 

This night-attack of the monitors and the New Ironsides 
may well be taken as the ending of the first bombaixlment of 
Fort Sumter, occupying, from the morning of the 17th 6f Au- 
gust to the morning of the 2d of September, a total of sixteen 
days.^ There were but few places in the fort at this date that 
C3f>uld be called safe : these were four lower casemates of the left 
or western flank, used for the hospital and head-quarters, adja- 
cent to the south-western angle of the work, both the two lower 
magazines on the gorge,^ the splinter-proof blindage on each side 
of the old sally-port, and two or three casemates of the .right 
face contiguous to the eastern angle. The slope of debris on 

Shot and 

* Total firing first great bombardment, first period 5<I59 

second " J819 

Total 6878 

Killed nnd 

Total casualties, first period 1 k., 42 w. 

second " . . -, : 1 k., 8 w. 

Total .2 k., /)0 w. 

* Their ** inner faces" were not "battered," as stated by ibe writer of Gen- 
eral Beauregard's Military Operaiions, vol. ii. chap, xxxii. 


the exterior of the gorge was practicable for assault, but that 
on the sea-front was not yet so ; and the filled casemates of that 
quarter and of the gorge were standing firm and unhurt. 

The fort had now lost all offensive character, but it had been 
firmly decided by the general commanding to hold it in a defen- 
sive way to the last extremity ; and it will be seen in the next 
chapter how well the new policy was inaugurated. 

General Orders, > Adjt. and Inspector-General's Office, I 

No. 64, j Richmond, Va., August 10, 1864. J 

I. The following Roll of Honor is published in accordance 
with Paragraph I. General Orders, No. 131, 1863. It will be 
read to every regiment in the service, at tiie first dress-parade 
after its receipt: 


Captain C. S. Hill, acting chief of ordnance. 

Captain C. E. Chichester, acting chief of artillery. 

Captain J. T. Champneys, acting chief of engineers. 

Sergeant J. T. Respess, Company B, Sixty-first North Carolina troops. 

Private Henry Winemore, Company F, Sixty -first North Carolina troops. 


Sergeant J. E. Edgerton, Company A, Twenty-fifth South Carolina In- 
Private E. H. Martin, Company K, Rutledge Cavalry (Fourth South 

Carolina Cavalry). 
Private W. D. Du Barry, Company E, Charleston battalion. 
Private A. Grimball, Marion Artillery. 

Private F. K. Huger, Company F, Aiken's Partisan Rangers (Sixth 
South Carolina Cavalry). 

The above-named non-commissioned officer and privates are on de- 
tached service with the Signal Corps. 

■N> « * « « * 

By oixler : S. Cooper, 

AdjiUant and Inspector- General. 



September 4-9, 1803. 

The Arttllerists under Coix)nel Rhett rklievkd after their Ex- 
HATJSTiNQ Service— High Compliments paid them in General 
Orders— Major Stephen Elliott succeeds to the Command op 
Fort Sumter— His Garrison the Charleston Battalion of In- 
fantry — Fort Wagner's Last Bombardment— The Besiegers 
approach the Ditch — Assault in Barobs made on Cummino's 
Point quickly Repulsed— The Confederates Evacuate Morris 
Island Skilfully and Successfully— Antecedents of Major 
Elliott, the new Commander— Rear-Admiral Dahloren de- 
mands the Surrender op Fort Sumter— Being Refused, he 
Organizes a Naval Assault with Armed Launches— General 
glllmore prepares another from morris island— grounding 
OF THE Monitor Weehawken— Squadron moves up and Engages 
Works on Sullivan's Island— Again the Next Day, more Se- 

completed by Nightfall— Major Elliott's Dispositions for De- 
fense—Two Columns of Boats from the Fleet advance on the 
Fort after Midnight— They are met by Hot Fire of Infantry, 
Grenades, etc. — After a Struggle op Twenty Minutes the Boats 
Retreat, leaving a Large Number of their Men to be Captured 
—Extract from the Report of Commander Stevens— The De- 
fenders op Fort Sumter and the Harbor much Encouraged by 
their Success. 

It need scarcely be said that the duties of the garrison before 
and during the first bombardment were arduous and fatiguing. 
Obliged to receive the enemy's fire for sixteen days, with little 
opportunity of returning it ; to work hard, whether under fire 
or not; to see around them nothing but an hourly increasing 
destruction ; and to feel all the dispiriting influences of the 

10 145 


scene, — they began to suffer from exhaustion and to need relief. 
Enlisted and disciplined as regular troojis, the first regiment of 
South Carolina Artillery, like the first regiment of South Caro- 
lina Infantr}', acting as artillery and doing duty on Sullivan's 
Island, had been brought, under a fine body of officers, to a 
high degree of soldierly excellence. Much was expected of the 
command stationed at the most prominent post in the harbor 
of Charleston and subjected to a severe ordeal. In no spirit 
of boasting or detraction from the brave defenders of Morris 
and Sullivan's Islands, or from the troops afterward garrisoning 
Fort Sumter, the first regiment of South Carolina Artillery may 
be said to have worthily deserved the commendation of the com- 
manding general.* And special resolutions of encomium, [Kissed 
subsequently by the State, were transmitted to Colonel Rhett as 
a tribute to himself, his officers, and the men of the garrison of 
Fort Sumter. 

As one company after another would be ordered away, to make 
up the complement necessary for the new batteries arming within 
the harbor, the regiment must have been loth to turn its back 
upon the noble fort whose days of strength and order it had so 
well illustrated, but whose enduring trials of adversity it was no 
longer to sustain. More than any other officer, the colonel com- 
manding must have felt the stern reality of the change. The 
fort was no longer an artillery post, and his command was needed 
elsewhere. On the night of the 1st of Scpteml)er, when the 


Charleston, S. C, August 27, I86H. 


The commanding general has witnessed witTi genuine pride and satisfaction 
tlie defense made of Fort Sumter by Colonel Rhett, his officers, and the men of 
the first regiment of South Carolina Kegular Artillery, noble fruits of the disci- 
pline, application to their duties, and the soldieHy bearing of officers and men, 
and of the organization of the regiment. In the annals of war no stouter de- 
fense was ever made, and no w^ork ever before encountered as formidable a 
bombardment as that under which Fort Sumter has been successfully held. 
Respectfully, your ol>edient servant, 

(Signed) Thomas Jordan, 

Chief </ Staff. 
To Brigadier-General Ripley, commanding First Military District 
S. C, Charleston, S. C. 


first bombardment closed with the naval attack on the silent 
tort, only two ctompanies (B and C) of artillerists remained on 
duty, tlie garrison being made up of infantry detachments from 
the Twenty-seventh Georgia volunteers. 

So it happened that on the night of the 4th of September the 
old gave place to the new order of things. Colonel Rhett was 
put in command of the inner line of fortifications, while Major 
Stephen Elliott succeeded to the command of Fort Sumter. At 
the same time, the garrison was relieved by th6 Charleston bat- 
talion (infantry), 320 strong, temporarily under Major Julius 
A. Blake, commanding.^ This command, already distinguished 
at Secessionville in 1862 and on Morris Island in the protracted 
defense of Wagner, was made up of six companies — viz. A, 
Lieutenant James C. Saltus, commanding in absence of Captain 
W. Dove Walter ; B, Captain Thomas Y. Simons ; C, Captain 
James M. Mulvaney ; D, Captain J. Ward Hopkins ; E, Cap- 
tain F. T. Miles; F, Captain Samuel Lord. (For Major 
Elliott's general order on assuming command, see Appendix.) 

About this time another change also occurred at the post. 
Lieutenant John Johnson, who had been engineer in charge 
since the 7th of April, was on the 2d of September obliged 
to leave the fort on account of the aggravated condition of a 
wound received on the 17th of August. For several days F. 
Marion Hall, assistant, afterward lieutenant of engineers, was 
in charge until the arrival of Captain J. T. Champneys of the 

All throuj^h the second period of the first bombardment the 
rfe^ of Battery (or Fort) Wagner was proceeding with greater 
and greater difficulties. 

It has been mentioned that the approaches to Battery Wagner 
were very much impeded by the sharpshooters stationed behind 
a low sand-ridge about two hundred and forty yards in advance 
of the work. Already one effort to dislodge them had failed, 
and again another, made at dusk on the evening of the 25th, 
was unsuccessful. At length a sudden bayonet-charge, with 
large force, on the evening of the 26th, captured the rifle-pits 

* Its oommander, Lieutenant-Colonel P. C. Gaillard, liad been recently dis- 
abled by the loss of a hand in the defense of Fort Wagner. 


there, and secured for the enemy a new and stronger position.* 
But now began, over the remaining distance, the most perilous 
part of the Federal approach. It became impossible " to push 
for\vard the sap in the narrow strip of shifting sand by day, 
.... while the brightness of the prevailing harvest moon 
rendered the operation almost as hazardous by night." For 
besides the increasing eflTectiveness of the artillery fire from 
Wagner and the distant flanking-batteries on Jam«5 Island, 
the sappers now encountered " an elaborate and ingenious sys- 
tem of torpedo-mines, to be exploded by the tread of persons 
walking over them." Sixty loaded shells and water-tight kegs 
of two gallons' capacity were so placed. Six were exploded by 
the sappers, with twelve casualties. Yet, though the daily losses 
were increasing and the progress was almost arrested, such were 
the powers of the attack, its resources and skill, that the order had 
only to be issued for the entire weight of army and navy artil- 
lery to be brought down upon the devoted little fort to have it 
perfectly silenced and the siege allowed to proceed to its conclu- 
sion. Thus, General Gillmore decided to concentrate on Wag- 
ner tlie tremendous fire of one 10-inch rifle, four 8-inch rifles, 
nine 6-inch rifles, and ten 30-pounder rifles — in all twenty-four 
rifle-guns, together with seventeen mortars. These were to be 
supported by the powerful batteries of the New Ironsides and 
the other vessels of the armored squadron, adding to the land 
fire at least twenty more of the heaviest naval guns ever used in 
warfare. The grand total would reach between sixty and seventy 
guns and mortars,' against Wagner's twelve eflective guns. 

' The larger part of the picket force, about seventy, were t^iken prisoners : 
they were of the Sixty-first North Carolina regiment. The charge was made 
by the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts volunteer?, Colonel F. Osborne command- 
ing, supported by the Third New Hampshire volunteers, Captain Randlett 
commanding, total about 1500, and gave no time for escape, the lines being 
only some twenty-five or thirty yards apart at one point 

* For the week preceding this final bombardment of Wagner the engineer 
in charge, Captain J. W. Gregorie, reported as follows: **The parapets of this 
work are in as good condition to-day as at any time since I have been on duty 
»t this post. I consider all the magazines and bombproofs secure from direct 
or vertical fire — the guns all in working order, except the 10-inch columbiad 
in the northernmost chamber. It requires a working-party of 200 men every 
night and 1000 sandbags to keep the fort up to its present standard.'' The 


Aooordingly, at daybreak on the morning of the 5th of Sep- 
tember all this artillery opened upon Fort Wagner, and in a 
short while silenced it. The garrison, about 900 men, could 
not stand to the guns, and betook itself to the best cover to be 
found. It is a mistake to suppose it was, as a whole, sheltered 
io the bombproof; hardly one-half could have endured the heat 
and crowding of those close quarters : a portion, about two 
hundred, were stationed without and to the rear in the low 
sandhills affording some natural cover. All that day and 
night, the day after, and some part of the night following, the 
garrison, suffering considerable loss and constantly increasing dis- 
comforts almost as great as dangers, continued firm in its heroic 
fortitude under a fire seldom if ever before equalled in severity, 
and certainly never before directed at so small an object. The 
land-batteries threw 1663 rifle projectiles and 1553 mortar shells. 
The New Ironsides contributed 488 shells in the same time, and, 
together with that of the monitors, the total fire must have been 
little short of 4000 shots in forty-two hours. In addition to 
this, a boat^attack, planned to capture Battery Gregg and Cum- 
ming's Point in the rear of Wagner, so as to cut off the retreat 
of the garrison, was made in force on the night of the 5th of 
September, and signally failed with considerable loss. It was 
to have been made the night before, but some alarm was given 
by the musketry firing attending the capture of a Confederate 
picket-boat, and Battery Gr^g was found too ready. 

The second attempt was more of an affair, but was not more suc- 
oesful. Colonel L. M. Keitt prepared for it by sending that morn- 
ing Captain Henry R. Lesesne, First South Carolina Artillery, 
to take command of Battery Gregg, and by reinforcing the point 
with infantry after dark. While the troops were taking posi- 
tion two valuable lives were lost. Captain J. R. Haines, Twen- 
ty-eighth Georgia, and Lieutenant R. A. Blum, Twenty-fifth 
South Carolina volunteers, being killed by a mortar shell. 
Two monitors shelled Battery Gregg heavily from dark till 
about one o'clock. Then, within a half hour, a column of 

armament at this date was fourteen heavy, two light guns, and one mortar. 
The garrison of Morris Island, for the same period, varied from 1000 to 150Q 


some twenty bai'ges filled with soldiers and manned by sailors 
from the fleet was discovered approaching the point through 
Vincent's Creek, on the western side of the island. Captain 
Lesesne, waiting for them until they were within one hundred 
yards of the shore, opened with his 10-inch gun, followed by 
the howitzers, and the infantry commenced firing shortly after- 
ward. *' The enemy returned the fire with their boat-howitzers 
and musketry. A few succeeded in landing, but quickly returned 
to their boats. After the fire had been kept up for about fifteen 
minutes the whole force returned." (Captain Lesesne's report. 
See Appendix,) The Union force was to have been 600, but 
only about one-third embarked. They were commanded by 
Major O. S. Sanford, Seventh Connecticut. The artillery of 
the battery was supported by Major James Gardner, Twenty- 
seventh Georgia, commanding infantry, and by two field-how- 
itzers stationed to the right of the work, where they were served 
by Lieutenant E. W. Macbeth, First South Carolina Infantry, 
"with gallantry and skill." 

A calcium light stationed at the left of the second parallel 
was used by the attack with great success to illuminate the 
parapet and higher parts of Wagner, so as to deter from any 
effort at repairing by night the damages of the day. It was 
hardly necessary. In the effort to repair damages on the night 
of the 5th, Colonel Keitt reported a loss in killed and wounded 
of sixty to eighty men of the working-party alone. So plain 
was the crisis now become that Brigadier-Greneral Gillmore 
decided to assault the work at nine o'clock on the morning of 
the 7th, and all preparations were made for that end. 

The sappers, though unmolested by the fire of the work 
itself, were made to suffer by the long-range fire of the flank- 
ing-batteries on James Island until the approach became so 
near as to endanger the garrison. This period was reached 
when the sap was about to push by the south face toward the 
close of the second day. Thenceforward the sappers had noth- 
ing to fear, not even any longer the torpedoes ; but, entirely 
under cover of the east or sea-front, they advanced nearly to 
the flank of that front, where they finished their labors and 
entered the ditch about ten o'clock that night (September 6th). 


As might have been expected, the effect of such a bombardment 
(forty-two hours) was to damage the work more seriously than 
ever before, to put an entire stop to all repairs, and to disable 
guns. But, though neither the magazine nor the bombproof 
quarters for the garrison had been breached, the endurance of the 
sturdy little fort was finally coming to be questioned. Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Harris, chief engineer, visited the island under the 
fiery storm of the 6th with special orders from General Beau- 
regard to inspect damages and give his opinion. He advised 
its immediate evacuation, and orders were issued to Colonel L. 
M. Keitt, commanding at Battery Wagner, about 4 p. M., to 
effect it that night. This very delicate and critical operation 
was carefiilly planned at head-quarters, and carried out with 
almost perfect success. The two Confederate iron-clads assisted 
with their boats^ under Lieutenant W. H. Ward, of the Pal- 
metto State, together with Lieutenants C. L. Stanton, C. H. 
Hasker, and W. H. Odenheimer ; and Colonel Keitt, ably sus- 
tained by Lieutenant-Colonel O. M. Dantzler, Twentieth South 
Carolina, in charge of transportation, by Lieutenant-Colonel 
J. 6. Pressly, Twenty -fifth South Carolina, and Major Henry 
Bn-an, A. A. General, had the satisfaction of completing the 
movement shortly after midnight. Two or three boats con- 
taining forty-six soldiers and sailors under Lieutenant Hasker 
were captured by the Union pickets. (For Colonel Keitt's 
full report and Captain Huguenin's graphic journal see Ap- 

Thus terminated the siege of Battery Wagner, memorable for 
its duration of fifty-eight days, for the persevering skill dis- 
played in the attack, and for the sturdy resistance of the defense. 
History will promote it from a battery to a fort^ but it was 
always known to the Confederates as "Battery Wagner." In 
conjunction with Battery Gregg at Cumming's Point, it had I'e- 
pulsed three assaults of the enemy, and stood without any serious 
damage to the last one of the heaviest bombardments on recoixl. 
(For a tabulated statement of details, see p. 273, " R^sum^ and 
Conclusion.") The highest compliments were paid to the com- 
mander of the Union forces by his superiors at Washington.' 

* *" General Gillmore's operations have been characterized by {^reat profes- 


And yet the Confederates were not without their satisfaction also 
in having made a stand for the protection of Charleston that 
availed them to the end of the war. For the conquest which 
they left to the enemy was fruitless ; the barren island was but 
a barren trophy. 

The hardships of defense in Wagner were certainly greater 
while they lasted than those endured in Sumter. They have 
been well described by Major Gilchrist in the Charledon Year- 
Book (1884), an extract from which is given in the note below.* 

sional skill and boldness. He has overcome difficulties almost unknown in 
modern sieges. Indeed, his operations on Morris Island constitute a new era 
in the science of engineering and gunnery/' (Report of M<yor-General Hal- 
leek, general-in-cliief, 15th of November, 1863.) 

' "From the 20th of July was a period of simple endurance on Morris 
Island*. Night and day, with scarcely any intermission, the hurtling shell 
burst over and within it. Each day, often from early dawn, the New Iron- 
sides or the monitoi-s, sometimes all together, steamed up and delivered their 
terrific broadsid* s, shaking the fort to its centre. The noiseless coehom shells, 
fulling vertically, searched out the secret recesses, almost invariably claiming 
•victims. The burning sun of a Southern summer, its heat intensified by the 
reflection of the white sand, scorched and blistered tlie unprotected garrison, 
or the more welcome rain and storm wet them to the skin. An intolerable 
stench from the imearthed dead of the previous conflict, the carcasses of cav- 
alry horses lying where they fell in the rear, and barrels of putrid meat 
thrown out on the beach, sickened the defenders. A large and brilliantly 
colored fly, attracted by the feast and unseen before, inflicted wounds more 
painful, though less dangerous, than the shot of the enemy. Water was 
scarcer than whiskey. The food, however good when it started for its desti- 
nation, by exposure, first on the wharf in Charleston, then on the beach at 
Gumming's Point, being often forty-eight hours in trntwiVu, was unfit to eat. 
The unventilated bombproofs, filled with the smoke of lamps and the smell 
of blood, were intolerable, so that one endured the risk of shot and shell 
rather than seek their shelter. 

" The incessant din of its own artillerjj, as well ns the bursting shells of the 

foe, prevented sleep The casualties were not numerous, and yet each 

day added to the list of killed and wounded. Amputated limbs were brought 
out from the hospital and buried in the sand. Often bodies followed them. 
Only as a special favor, or where high rank claimed the privilege, were the 
dead carried to the city for interment. There were few in the battery who 
could not tell of some narrow escape where a movement of position only had 
saved life. Nor can we specify the instances of personal heroism where all 
were brave : so often was the flag rescued and remounted that orders were 
issued by the commanding general forbidding it; flags were many, but men 
were few. Thus the days lengthene<l into weeks, the weeks into months, while 


After the 17th of August, when the breaching-batteries of 
Morris Island were opened on Fort Sumter and its demolition 
assured, the holding any longer of the northern end of the island 
by tbe Confederates might appear to have been an unnecessar}^ 
effort. General Gillmore says truly : " Neither Fort Wagner 
nor Battery Gregg possessed any sjiecial importance as a defense 
against the passage of the iron-clad fleet. They were simply 
outposts of Fort Sumter. Fort Wagner, in particular, was spe- 
cially designed to prevent the erection of breach ing-battei'ies 
against that work. It was valueless to the enemy if it failed to 
accomplish that end, for the fleet in entering was not obliged to 
go within effective range of its guns." Why, then, it may be 
asked, was the northern end of Morris Island held by the Con- 
federates for three weeks after it had been demonstrated that 
Wagner was valueless to them as an outpost of Sumter ? The 
answer is, (Jeneral Beauregard estimated it, if no longer an out- 
post of Fort Sumter, as indeed an outpost of the city of Charles- 
ton, and he held it long enough to enable him to gain three 
weeks in perfecting the defenses of James Island and the inner 

The strategy of the Confederate commander, deterifiined by 
the difficulty of maintaining communications with Cumming's 
Point, appears to have been rather to keep the Union army 

the hrave and patient defenders individiinlly Btood face to face with death and 
endured in many instances what was worse. 

'* Xor was the garrison inactive. For the blows received blows were gjven. 
Several monitors retired worsted from the encounter, and were not seen again. 
Explosions in the advancing works of the enemy showed the accuracy of the 
Confederate fire ; while every night, through the weary hours lengthening 
into new days, the working-parties swarmed over the fort to repair the 
damage done to bombproof parapet, 4ind traverses. Fighting from early mom 
to set of snn, and working through tiie livelong night, comprised their sum 
of life and daily experience. 

" It was not possible for human endurance to stand this mental and physical 
•<rain long. As each command became exhausted it was relieved, and fresh 
tmops took its place. Six days was the longest period of any command ; the 
infanlTY served only three days at a time. And no greater proof can be had 
«f their courage and devotion than that, with pereonal knowledge of the 
perilous nature of the service, the same commands returned time and again, 
^th full rankd, and even greater etpril de corps as the fierce struggle grew 
more intense/' 


occupied with the struggle for Morris Island than to contest its 
advance in that qaartei' with much seriousness. A diversion 
from the unfinished defenses of James Island and the inner 
harbor was to his mind so desirable an object that to gain it he 
gave up the outlying works of Morris Island with little hesita- 
tion after having derived from them for Charleston the benefits 
they failed to give Fort Sumter. He appears to have thought, 
If an army must threaten Charleston it had better be allowed to 
operate on the exterior, in the long ctil-de-sac of Morris Island, 
than on the interior in the broad and spacious ranges of James 
Island. No one will deny that the sequel justified this opinion. 
With this principle of defense kept in view, it may be candidly 
admitted that in two particulars, pointed out by General Gill- 
more, the special defense of Battery Wagner whs faulty — viz. 
the disuse of vigorous night-sorties and of morfarrfiring. From 
numerous admissions in the rejwrts of Federal officers, it is plain 
that if even the single mortar occasionally fired from Wagner 
had been well serve<l upon the sappers they would have been 
seriously delayed ;^ while, if the Confederates had mounted four 
or five mortars to the rear of the gorge under cover of its 
parapet, and had served them with any spirit, it is highly 
probable that the approach of a sap over that narrow front 
could have l>een entirely arrested, notwithstanding the immense 
preponderance of the enemy's artillery. 

Now that Morris Island was evacuated and destined before 
long to be fortified by the Federals up to the northern limit, 
Cumming's Point, it became evident that Fort Sumter Avas more 
than ever on " the perilous edge of battle." Henceforth it was 
to be the nearest of all the forts and batteries to the enemy. 
From having been a citadel, it had l^ecome an exposed outpost, 
an advanced work in niin. Brave officers, who had watched it 
day by day crumbling under the heavy fire and losing all its fair 
proportions, grew disheartened at the sight, and gave it as their 
candid military opinion that the holding of it any longer would 
be impossible or would amount to a mere sacrifice of the gar- 
rison. But this was little in accord with the mind and purpose 
of General Beauregard. He had from the first opening of the 
1 See Gillmore, pages 213-216. 


bombardment determined to withdraw the artillerists from the 
work, and to supply their place with infantry ; but he kept it a 
profound secret, not wishing to discourage or reflect upon the 
old garrison, composed of as true and gallant officers and men, 
from their colonel down to the last private, as he had ever 

The decision of the commanding general to hold Fort Sumter 
with no thought of surrender was received with enthusiasm by 
the people of South Carolina, and generously adopted by her 
sister States of the Confederacy. The defense assumed from 
this time greater importance than ever. Pride and sentiment 
were enlisted in it. The military spirit of the troops around 
Charleston was stirred and stimulated. The fort was henceforth 
r^arded as the post of honor. 

It has been mentionecl in this chapter that the new com- 
mander. Major Stephen Elliott, entered upon his duties only 
two days before the evacuation of Morris Island. This officer, 
at the earliest period of the war captain of the Beaufort (Light) 
Artillery, saw his first service in November, 1861, when Com- 
modore DnPont captured the forts at Port Royal Entrance, 
South Carolina. Later, in the next year, he took an active 
and prominent part with his light battery in the repulse of the 
Union force at Pocotaligo in the same vicinity. With his 
superior officers he stood well ; and Greneral Beauregard, from 
knowing him personally and hearing his good report for gal- 
lantry and self-reliance, sent for him. Being asked by the gen- 
eral if he was willing to assume command of the ruins of Fort 
Sumter on condition that his garrison should be limited to a 
certain number, and that the Federal flag should never be seen 
floating over the spot while the department was under himself. 
Major Elliott's eyes brightened, and he answered the general 
that he would be happy to do so. He was then told that before 
making his definite answer he would be expected to go there for 
twenty-four or forty-eight hours to know exactly "what he 
would be ordered to encounter." He went, and returned in 
less than twenty-four hours, saying that he was "anxious to 
have the position," and that he " would carry out my instruo- 


tions or die in the attempt. His orders were given him at 

Having been informed before daylight of the 7th of Septem- 
ber by Brigadier-Greneral Gillraore that the Confederates had 
evacuated the island, the rear-admiral sent in a flag of truce 
demanding the surrender of Fort Sumter. It was met by a 
boat from the Palmetto State,* and the demand taken by the 
officer in charge, Lieutenant Robert J. Boweu, C. S. N., to 
Major Elliott, commanding, about 8 A. M, The answer sent 
was that a definite reply would be returned as soon as he could 
communicate with the commander of the department. The def- 
inite reply came in these terms : " Inform Admiral Dahlgren 
that he may have Fort Sumter when he can take and hold it." 

Captain F. T. Miles of the Charleston battalion was the 
bearer of the reply from Fort Sumter, and was, through some 
misunderstanding, fired upon repeatedly by the batteries on Sul- 
livan's Island. He resolutely persisted, however, in his course, 
and the fire after a time ceased. The rear-admiral had told 
both Brigadier-Greneral Gillmore and the Secretary of War 
that he meant to follow up the demand, if refused, by instant- 
ly moving on the fort and obstructions with all his vessels. 
But this purpose was changed on second thought, and another 
substituted for it — viz. a night-assault with marines and sailors 
in launches from the fleet. 

Several events of interest occurred before the new project 
could be tried. While the messages by flag of truce were in 

* The above is from a private letter written by General Beauregard to the 
author, dated September 10, 1869. Major Elliott (bom 26th of October, 1830) 
was at the time of assuming command of Fort Sumter about thirty-three years 
old. He was promoted to be lieutenant-oolonel in November, 1863. He con- 
tinued in command of the fort until ordered to Virginia in command of a 
regiment, May 4, 1864. Serving chiefly in front of Petersburg, he soon (20th 
of May) arose to be brigadier-general ; was severely wounded at the ** Crater 
fight ;" returned to South Carolina and commanded a brigade in the battles of 
Averysboro' and Bentonville, North Carolina. His health failing after the 
war from the effect of his wound, he di^ in Aiken, S. C, February 21, 1866. 

' General Beauregard had some days before asked Flag-Ofllicer Tucker to 
take position with his iron-clad vessels between Battery Bee, Sullivan's Isl- 
and, and Fort Sumter. 


Brigadier-General STEPHEN ELLIOTT, P. A. C. S. 

Cummanding Fort Sumter 1863-64. 

From a Photograph. 


transmission the monitor Weehawken, Commander E. R. Col- 
honn, was carrying out some order when she grounded in 
eleven feet of water in the narrow channel between Fort Sum- 
ter and Cumming's Point. This was on the morning of the 
7th and on the ebb of the tide. Efforts to get her off at high 
water in the afternoon failed, although the accident did not 
become known to the Confederates until the next morning. 
Meanwhile^ the rear-admiral ordered the New Ironsides and 
the monitors to move up about 6 P. M. and engage the batteries 
of Sullivan's Island. This they did heavily, the Ironsides alone 
firing 152 shoti^ at Fort Moultrie and receiving a severe return, 
the Patapsoo also being badly damaged by Battery Bee; the 
Weehawken being present, but fast aground. The firing ceased 
when it grew too dark to see, about nine o'clock, and the ves- 
sels retired to render all possible assistance to their disabled 

The lookout from Fort Sumter discovered early the next 
morning (8th of September) what the condition of the Wee- 
hawken really was, and Major Elliott soon communicated the 
intelligence to the other posts. By half-past eight o'clock 
Fort Moultrie, distant 2000 yards, opened upon the stranded 
monitor, now exposing nearly the third part of her hull above 
water; Battery Bee joined in the firing, and Battery Simkins 
also, from Shell Point, James Island, sent compliments to the 
same inviting object. But, though dangerously exposed, the 
monitor was neither disabled nor non-combatant. So far from 
it, Commander Colhoun made a very gallant fight under all his 
disadvantages. The second shell fired by him at Fort Moultrie 
from his XV-inch gun* "struck the muzzle of an 8-inch coluin- 
biad and glanced into some shell-boxes," producing an explosion 
that killed sixteen and wounded twelve men of the garrison ;* 
and altogether in the course of the day the doughty officer fired 
eighty-two times at Sullivan's Island and Fort Sumter. But 

^ Colonel Willinm Bntler, commanding the artillery, reports the loss of 
^int Lieutenant E. A. Erwin at Beauregard Battery, killed in this engage- 

' Amoved Veasds, Ex. Doc, page 235. 

'Colonel Butler's report, September 12, 1863, Appendix. 


his escape from destruction was due to the diversion made in his 
favor by the other vessels of the squadron ; for his monitor was 
hit twenty-four times, and the damages required sixteen days 
for repair : three of the crew were wounded ; the vessel \vas got 
afloat again about 4 p. m. (See Appendix to this chapter.) 

The diversion made by the rear-admiral to cover his endan- 
gered monitor began about 11a. m., and led to what was prob- 
bably the severest naval engagement in American history up to 
that time. The New Ironsides, together with the Patapsco, 
Lehigh, Nahant, Montauk, and Passaic, came to anchor from 
1400 to 900 yards distant from Fort Moultrie, and for nearly 
three hours delivered by far the heaviest cannonade heard from 
the naval force off Charleston harbor. The Confederate works 
suffered no damage of much importance : of about thirty en- 
gaged,, two guns were dismounted, and, mainly, the casualties 
were those already mentioned in connection with one shell fired 
by the Weehawken. The total killed were 19, and wounded 27 ; 
among the latter was Lieutenant D. B. DeSaussure. 

To a looker-on from Fort Sumter that day the Federal navy 
seemed to have altogether the best of it ; for the stranded monitor 
got off with flying colors, and the Confederate batteries appeared 
to be silenced more than once. Colonel Butler, commanding the 
artillery on Sullivan's Island, reported that his fire was weak- 
ened on account of the scant amount of ammunition on hand. 
Nevertheless, the fight made by both sides was equally deter- 
mined if not equally furious. Captain S. C. Rowan, who com- 
manded the New Ironsides, testified in his report : " The fire of 
the foils slackened down to an occasional gun, when I directed 
a slow fire kept up to economize shell. The moment the enemy 
<liscovered this he jumped from behind his sandbags and opened 
rapidly. .1 renewed our rapid fire and silenced him again." 
(Ai-niored Vessels, page 240.) 

In fact, this ship never did so well before or after : her pow- 
erful batteries of Xl-inch guns thundered with a rapidity and 
a weight of metal that far surpassed the fire of the monitors. 
She fired 183 rounds, was hit 70 times, and yet her captain 
thinks of no damage worthy to be reported. 

The effect of the explosion of that pile of loaded shells in 


Fort Moultrie must have been terrible and trying in the ex- 
treme. Nearly all of Captain R. Press Smith's company were 
killed or wounded by it/ the captain himself narrowly escap- 
ing by leaping into the ditch in front of the fort. To supply 
its place, another company of the same regiment (First South 
Carolina Infantry, regulars), under the command of Captain 
Burgh S. Burnet, was led, under the severe fire, from Battery 
Beaur^rd to Fort Moultrie, a distance of about eight hundred 
yards. (See Confederate reports in Appendix to this chapter.) 

Two circumstances remain to be wondered at in the chron- 
icle of this engagement. One is, that the Confederate gunners 
suffered the Weehawken to escape ; and the other is, that the 
Federal squadron did not push on past the batteries up to 
and beyond the obstructions. To the close of the war the 
obstructions appeared to be more dreaded by the navy than the 
batteries which commanded them. The squadron never again 
made such an attack as this of the 8th of* September. It must 
be said, how^ever, that the obstructions of rope-nettings with 
toq)edoes at this date were incomparably superior to those with- 
out torpedoes on the 7th of April of the same year, when Fort 
Sumter was attacked by Rear-Admiral DuPont, and Captain 
Joha Rodgers in the lead declined to use his torpedo-raft upon 
a threatening array of floating beer-barrels. The moral effect 
of these invisible dangers will always be felt in torjiedo-war- 
fare, whatever may be the provision made to meet them ;' but 
it is ver}' strange that the nature of those at the entrance to 
Charleston harbor, together with their constantly retnirring 
derangement and inefficiency, continued for nearly two years 
undiscovered by the United States navy. 

It appears from the Diai^y of Rear-Admiral Dahlgren that 
while the iron-clad squadron was sr) heavily engaged with Fort 

^ A parallel occurred in the Union batteries on Morris Island, July 25th of 
the same year. General W. W. H. Davis mentions the wounding of twenty- 
one men by the exploding of a Confederate shell " in the midst of a fatigue- 
|)arty mounting a 200-ponnder." The same officer is authority for stating 
the fact that nine men in the trenches were kille<i by the bursting of one shell 
fired from James Island, August 27, 1863. 

' Some one has well described the torpedo as being a weapon which attacks 
both mat'er and mind. 


Moultrie and the supportiDg batteries, he was engaged, then and 
"all day, arranging to assault Sumter." The expe<lition, com- 
posed of five divisions of boats carrying four hundred and fifty 
picked men, was organized from the blockading fleet of wooden 
gunboats. It embraced one hundred marines, and the rear- 
admiral reported that " great care was taken in oi^uizing the 
column of attack : there were no better men on hand, and they 
were led by officers whose standing fully justified their selec- 
tion." The whole was put in chai^ of Commander T. H. 

Late in the day, September 8, 1863, when the admiral sent 
to borrow some boats from General Gillmore, it became known 
to the navy tliat the army also was preparing for a like assault 
the same night. Concert of action was thereupon arranged, or 
at least was supposed to be arranged, on the authority of Lieu- 
tenant Preston reporting to the admiral. But the two attacks 
were yet to be each under its own leader. Simultaneously with 
the thronging and jostling of launches, cutters, and steam-tugs 
outside among the fleet there was a crowding of barges in Vin- 
cent's Creek, west of Cumming's Point, where the army was 
making its rendezvous. With two small regiments Greneral 
Gillmore thought his force strong enough without the co-opera- 
tion of the naval column, but he evidently distnisted the want 
of unity in attack, and, as the event proved, took no part in it.* 

Meanwhile, onlers had been given in the fleet for the boats 
to assemble by 10 P. m. alongside of the tug expected to tow 
them up within eight hundred yards of the fort. It was not 
until after twelve o'clock that they reached the station, and 
were cast off apparently in some disorder, haste, and confusion. 
The night was uncommonly dark, and favored the defense, 
apparently, as much as the attack ; for the plan of having one 
division to move in and around to the north-western front of 

' From Judge Cowley's book, page 109 : 

September 8th. 

Admiral Dahlgren: I deem it of vital importance that no two distinct 
parties should approach Sumter at the same time, for fear of accident I will 
display a red light from the fort when taken ; I ask you to do the same if your 
party mounts first. Our countersign is '* Detroit ;" let us use it in challenging 
on the water. (Signed) Gen. Gillmore. 


the fort by way of a diversion, while another cohimn should 
advance on the south-eastern front of the fort, was all deranged 
by Vaste and darkness. Not more than two divisions out of 
five sseem have taken part in the actual landing at the fort. 

Major Elliott had become quite possessed with the idea of 
an assault by night, and had protested on the morning of the 
8th against a threatened reduction of his force. He further 
procured that day from the city a full supply of hand-grenades 
aod fire-balls. The dispositions customarily made for each night 
at this period were as follows : Captain Hopkins's company, 
forty-three men, lay on their arms on the crest of the gorge, 
that being approached by a practicable slope from the water's 
edge: in case of alarm the right of this line was to be support- 
ed by Captain Lonl's company, forty-two men, occupying the 
rampart of the south-western angle ; the left of the gorge-line 
was to be supported by Lieutenant §altus with a small detach- 
ment of his company. Lieutenant Harris, with twenty-five 
men, was assigned to the north-east angle, being the left of the 
sea-face, at that time not presenting a practicable slope, as it 
subsequently did, but showing a number of breaches into the 
casemates, which had been filled with sand months befora 
There was a formidable breach on the north-western face, and 
there Captain Miles was stationed with his company. Captain 
Mulvaney was to support him, and Captain Simons was assigned 
to the defense of the western casemates and the wharf. Detach- 
ments in charge of Signal-Officer F. K. Huger were posted at 
three points on the wall to throw hand-grenades and fire-balls. 
The old stone wharf on the gorge was mined and made ready 
for instant explosion. 

It was one hour after midnight when Major Elliott, on 
the lookout himself, had his attention directed by a sentinel 
to a line of barges advancing towanl the north-eastern angle, 
and soon after a second line was discovered moving upon 
the south-eastern angle. With the coolness of a veteran the 
commander cautioned the sentinels not to fire; then, placing 
men in position along the ruined parapet of the sea-face, he 
jmt Captain Hopkins in charge of these, in addition to his own 
wrapany on the crest of the gorge, and ordered up three other 

1G2 TH£ t)£P£I^S£: Of' CfiAftL£STON HaHBoIL 

companies within supporting distance. By this time a division 
of bouts under Lieutenant E. P. Williams was advancing on 
the north-eastern angle with considerable dash^ and began to 
deploy prej)aratory to landing. Orders had been given to 
reserve the fort's fire until this moment, and when the leading 
boats were in the act of landing they were surprised by a rapid 
and effective discharge of rifles and hand-grenades. The outer 
boats, filled with marines, replied rapidly for a few minutes. The 
sailors who had effected a landing fired a few times from tlieir 
revolvers, but for the most part sought refuge from the galling 
fire in the embrasures and breaches or under the large masses 
of d6bris at the base of the wall, only to be dislodged by the 
searching of hand-grenades and fire-balls, and even by the 
throwing down of fragments of the brick masonry from the 
parapet. The other division of boats observed to be advancing 
on the south-eastern angle, was under the command of Lieuten- 
ant G. C. Remey. It seems that only two boats of this divi- 
sion ever touched the fort, and they, finding themselves unsup- 
ported, soon pushed off and joined their wavering or retreat- 
ing comrades. 

But the rattling fire of infantry from the walls of Fort Sum- 
ter had already given signal to the batteries of James and Sul- 
livan's Islands and to the iron-clad gunboat Chicora stationed 
north of the fort. These allies opened with all promptness in 
the dark night, guided by the fringe of fire on the sea-front of 
the fort, and chiefly by their own lines for pointing, established 
by careful practice in the day-time. Shot, grape, canister, and 
shell were thus sent ri(w*heting and exploding along the water 
at the base of the fort on three of its ex|)osed fronts, and must 
have contributed in some measure to the dispersion of the flotilla. 
For dispersed it was indeed by this time. The attack had been 
a feeble one, and it was all over in twenty minutes. The fol- 
lowing abstract from Commander Stevens's report will make 
this clear: 

"Lieutenant Higginson was directed to move up to the north-west 
front of the fort with his division, for the purpose of making a diversion, 
while the remainder of the divisions were ordered to close up and wait 
for the order to advance upon the south-east front. My intention was 

Captain F. H. HARLESTON, First Regiment S. C. Ariiller>', 

Killed at Fort Sumter, November 24th, 1863. 

From a Photograph. 

► -*••• • 

• • • • • 

• •• • • •, 

t* •••••■ 


to wait until we had the fall benefit of the diversion Lieutenant Hig- 
ginaon was directed to make in our favor; but, mistaking his movement, 
doubtless, as intended for a general one, and in that spirit of gallantry 
and emulation which characterizes the service, many of the other boats 
dashed on ; finding it too late to restrain them, the order was given to 
advance. As soon as the boats were discovered they were met with a 
fire of musketry, hand-grenades, lighted shells, and grape and canister ; 
and simultaneously, at a signal from the fort, all the enemy's batteries 
surrounding us, with one of their gunboat rams, opened fire. Several 
of the boats had by this time eflected a landing, but the evidences of 
preparation were so apparent, and the impossibility of effecting a gen- 
eral landing or scaling the walls so certain, that orders were given to 
withdraw. All who landed were either killed or taken prisoners, and 
serious casualties occurred in the boats near the fort." 

Among the officers here captured were Lieutenant-Commander 
E. P. Williams, who afterward perished with the ill-fated Oneida ; 
Lieutenants S. W. Preston and B. H. Porter, who were killed at 
Fort Fisher, the former of whom was attached to Admiral Dahl- 
gren's staff; also Lieutenant C. H. Bradford, marines, mortally 
wounded, and Lieutenants G. C. Remey and E, G. Dayton. 
Not a man in Fort Sumter had been hurt. The Federal loss 
was 6 killed, 2 officers and 17 men wounded, and 25 missing, 
while 10 officers and 92 men, with five launches, were captured 
and sent up to the city ; total loas, 124. 

The prisoners told Major Elliott that they scarcely expected 
any resistance, it having been generally concluded in the fleet 
that the breaches seen in the wall of the sea-front were easy of 
access from the base of the fort and afforded direct communica- 
tion with the interior. When they came to examine for them- 
selves, they found those breaches easy of access, but impenetrably 
stopped with twenty feet thickness of white sand. Looked at 
from the fleet, these fillings of the lower casemates appeared as 
blank openings in the dark brick wall, and ready to admit all 
visitors by day or night. But the great mistake of the assault 
was in not attacking on the side of the g<»rge, where a i)racticable 
slope, though of very rough footing, would have favored them. 
Had two divisions of the boats made that their ])lace of landing, 
or, better still for the Federals, had General Gillmore's assault 
with trxfops from Vincent's Creek west of Cumming's Point 


been made in concert with the naval attack, so that while the 
latter was occupying the garrison on the northern and eastern 
fronts, the former could have threatened the gorge, there might 
have been a very different result for the fort. As it was, the 
easy victory of the Confederates confirmed them in their resolu- 
tion to hold their ground to the la6>t. The repulse of this boat- 
attack was felt to be a reassuring event in the history of the 
fort, as well as a new honor worthily to be borne by its brave 



September to December 6, 1803. 

The Fort, in a Ruined Condition, held ab the Outpoct of the Ha&- 
BOB-— General Gillmore Fortifies the Northern End of Morris 
Island— Fort Sumter's Respite of Six Weeks— The First Minor 
Bombardment— Bombproof Quarters constructed, and Three 
Heavy Guns mounted in Casemates of North-eastern Face- 
Opening OF Second Great Bombardment, October 26th — Mortar 
Shelling for the First Time— The Monitors Assist the Land- 
guns — Frequent Casualties— Loss of a Whole Detachment by 
FALLi2fo of Barracks— The Exterior Slopes require Obstruction 
against Assault — Threatened Assaults Discovered— Calcium 
Light thrown upon the Fort — Interior of the Fort arranged 
FOR Loophole Firing- Death of Captain Harlbbton— The Flag- 
staff Shot away, and replaced with Gallantry on Six Occasions 
—Second Great Bombardment ends December 5th— It Results in 
Change of Dimension and Loss of Material— Statement of Shots 
Received and Casualties Suffered — Increased Determination 
ON Part of Defense. 

Major Elliott had now demonstrated to both friends and . 
foes that Fort Sumter could not be had for the asking. The 
repulse showed, by the vigilance and spirit of the garrison and 
by the concentrated fire of the harbor-batteries and gunboats, 
that the fort could have been equal to a much severer test of its 
strength. Yet, with all the encouragement growing out of this 
latest siicceas, there came the irrepressible thought that Fort Sum- 
ter was still in an exceedingly critical condition. With scant and 
most uncomfortable quarters, the garrison and working force 
might be subjected at any moment to the shelling of land guns 
by day and naval guns by night, calculated to harass the work- 


ing-parties, exhaust the garrison, and ruin entirely the few re- 
maining hiding-places. 

But properly to appreciate the actual condition, as well as 
appearance of the fort, it will be necessary to consult the illui 
trations of this date, and bear in mind the explanations which,] 
it is hoped, will make them to be understood. 

During the heavy cannonade of Sullivan's Island by the iron 
clad squadron on the 8th of September an artist from Charles- 
ton, Mr. G. S. Cook, was engaged in taking photographs of the 
interior of Fort Sumter. A comprehensive view of the interior 
was obtained by him from a point in the parade looking north- 
ward to the chief salient. Beginning on the left, one sees the 
upper casemates of the northern half of the western or city 
front open and exposed to the naval fire coming over the eastern 
wall. The western barracks are nearly levelled to the first story. 
The parapet and terreplein are badly cut up and shattered. The 
single gim in barbette is pointing toward the city, and is at the 
north-western angle. The next feature that arrests the eye, 
moving to the right, is the large breach in the scarp-wall of the 
north face. This breach gives a good idea of the destructive power 
of the long-range and heavy Parrott rifle-guns used by General 
Gillmore from Morris Island, and taking this face of the fort 
in reverse. It grew to its present size from an enlargement of 
one of the closed embrasures of the upper casemates, and its 
prominence beyond all other places damaged, except a cor- 
responding breach on the gorge- wall, was due to its being on 
the line of fire from Morris Island, which passed centrally 
through the fort, and so marked the passage of the greatest 
number of projectiles discharged at the fort from that particular 
direction. It indicated, so to speak, the converging aim or focus 
of all the brcaching-guns as they were, from all positions on 
Morris Island, trained upon the mass of the fort. The northern 
angle or principal salient is marked by the open and ruined stair- 
tower, narrower than any of the casemate openings. Centrally 
in the parade a shell has just *fallen and burst, after having 
passed over the gorge-wall, discharged by the monitor Wee- 
hawken aground most of this day off Cumming's Point, but 
firing as many as forty-six times at Fort Sumter. To the right 

• • • • . » ' 


of the shell are some uninjured casemates, of which the upper 
ones were in a month or two destroyed, but of which tlie lower 
ones continued to be used, and even armed, to the end of the 
Confederate defense, their guns bearing on the channel nearly 
opposite to Fort Moultrie. On the ramparts is seen the flag, 
flying temporarily in that position close up against the brick 
traverse erected almost a year before to protect the barbette guns 
of the north-east front from a naval fire. The view is closed 
on the right by the eastern barracks, having their third story 
and interior very much ' damaged. It was in one of. the lower 
rooms of these barracks that later a fatal accident occurred 
through the falling of the ruins upon a detachment of sleeping 

By eight o'clock of the morning after the assault the rear- 
admiral sent in a flag to communicate with Fort Sumter. It 
was met and declined until explanations were made concerning 
a recent firing upon a Confederate flag. Then it appears from 
Major Elliott's journal^ that two flags were sent from the fleet 
on the 9th. The second, about 4 P. M., brought " baggage be- 
longing to the captured officers and conveniences for the 
wounded." In return, a flag from the fort, about 6 P.'-M., 
conveyed to the fleet the bodies of its dead. On the same day 
the commander and his garrison were warmly complimented on 
their brilliant success by a despatch from General Beauregard. 

Looking down from the walls of Fort Sumter on the shores 
of Morris Island, one could not help seeing the changes that 
were going on at the northern end. The Federals, allowing 
themselves a little time to admire the solidity of the captured 
works,' began actively to transform them and turn them upon 

* In the yfemoir nf Dak'grni no entry whatever appears in liis diary between 
ihe 8th and J 3th of September. 

' Major-General Gillmore reported Wagner "a work of the most fox-midable 
character " and its bombproof " remained practically intact after one of the 
most severe bombardments to which any earthwork was ever exposed." 
iOperaiwnK page 74.) His chief of staff and artillery, Brigadier-Ger.eral 
.1. W. Tnmer, said the same: "Notwithstanding the heavy fire of this bom- 
hrirdment, together with all the fire Fort Wagner had been subjected to since 
t]ie commencement of our attack from land and naval batteries, its defenses 
were not materially injured." (Operations of GiUmore, Appendix.) 


their late defenders. During the six weeks spent by them in 
accomplishing these changes their working-parties could be seen 
all day and heard by night busily engaged, in disr^:ard of the 
fire of James and Sullivan's Islands. Occasionally a well- 
directed shot would be seen to take effect among the men or 
teams employed, but as an observer watched these determined 
and persistent laborers it was felt to be exceedingly mortifying 
that no more opposition could be made to their advance. Scarcity 
of ammunition was the reason given for the slack firing of the 
Confederates, and the ranges were extreme for their smoothbore 
guns.* But with tliis picture of unmolested hostility under his 
eyes for more than a month, Major Elliott could report very 
significantly to head-quarters: "The working-parties (on Morris 
Island) suffer greatly from the want of being shelled." 

By the third week in October the armament was nearly ready 
in the new batteries of Morris Island. Fort Putnam was the 
name given to Fort Wagner; Battery Strong took the place of 
Battery Gregg ; and a third, Battery Chatfield, was constructed 
at a point nearly midway between the captured works, while 
near the southern end of the island Fort Shaw was built. Up 
to this time no mortars had been used by the attack against 
Fort Sumter. But henceforth they were to enter largely into 
the bombardment. As many as sixteen mortars, among them 
two of 13 inches, the remainder of 10 inches, together with a 
total of twelve Parrott rifles, 100-, 200-, and 300-poimders, and 
one 10-inch columbiad, making a total of 29 guns and mortars, 
were mounted for the next grand effort. Besides this hea\y 

* Unexpected testimony to the accuracy an<1 effectiveness of this fire is^iven 
by General W. W. H. Davis: '* At times the accuracy of the enemy's fire 
was wonderful when we consider the distance. In one period of twenty-four 
hours, out of 235 shells fired at Wagner, 185 burst inside the fort» killing and 
wounding sixteen men. Another day 150 shells struck inside the same work. 
Now, when we consider that the guns which fired these shells were at the dis- 
tance of about two miles, and that the spac* they were dropped within em- 
braced an area of less than an acre, we must come to the conclusion that the 
shooting was remarkable." {History Om-Handrtdrand-Fmrth Penwylvonia.) 

" We were near enough Charleston to tell the time of day by their docks 
on the church -steeples, and people could be seen walking in the streets. The 
workmen on a new iron-clad at the wharf were plainly to be seen with a 
glass." ifbid.) 

artillery, there were several rifled pieces of the 30- pounder 

The garrison in Fort Sumter had been enjoying a relatively 
long season of quiet, for, with the exception of six days at the end 
of September, they were unmolested for nineteen days prior to 
that, and for twenty days after that firing. The six days' firing 
(September 28th to October 3d) was a minor bombardment, the 
first of its kind. The aggregate shots fired were 567 ; the cas- 
ualties were 1 killed and 1 wounded. The damage was hardly 
perceptible. Practically, the garrison had the opportunity given 
it during six weeks to improve its condition, and it did so. The 
need for more bombproof accommodation than the few remain- 
ing casemates could afford was felt to be urgent. Accordingly, 
by covering in the vacant archway of the old sally-port in the 
gorge, ventilating and connecting it by galleries with the parade 
on the interior of the fort, the engineers provided additional 
quarters for one hundred men. 

Major Elliott had not been three weeks in command before 
he wrote to Brigadier-General Eipley at head-quarters of the 
military district, urging that he should be allowed to put the 
fort again on at least some footing of offensive strength. His 
letter, copied from his post-book, will be found in the Appendix 
of this chapter. 

Four of the lower casemates on the north-eastern front, next 
to the eastern angle, had been so covered from the Morris Isl- 
and batteries by the mass of the sea-front as to escape with but 
little damage from reverse fire, though they had been injured 
externally by the monitors. It was advised that these case- 
mates should be now made perfectly secure against the fire in 
reverse by throwing up a massive protection of sand and debris, 
so as to close their arches opening on the parade, and then that 
they should be armed with heavy guns to cross fire with the 
batteries of Sullivan's Island bearing on the channel and guard- 
ing its obstructions. After inspecting with particular care the 
condition of the piers and arches, the engineers pronounced 
favorably on the plan, and worked upon it until it was exe- 
cuted. But this was not done immediately, as the great diffi- 
culty was to provide for the necessary ventilation of the battery 


and at tlie same time guard against descending mortar-shells. 
However, by the middle of October sufficient protection had 
been given to warrant the mounting of guns, and two 10-inch 
columbiads, with one banded and rifled 42-pounder, were placed 
in position. This "three-gun battery/' as it was called, was 
afterward strengthened by a cribwork of pine and palmetto logs 
on the exterior of the wall, which had been much battered by 
the naval fire ; and it continued to the end to be an effective 
adjunct to the defense of the channel, although its guns were 
never brought into action. A photographic view of the exte- 
rior showing the cribwork of this battery, the three embrasures 
faced with palmetto, and the surrounding evidences of shattered 
masonry, was obtained later, and affoixls one of the most typ- 
ical representative pictures of Fort Sumter refitted under fire. 
(See page 203.) Thus, w^hile the Federals were fortifying the 
northern end of Morris Island, the Confederates were strength- 
ening Fort Sumter and perfecting the batteries of the inner 

At length, on the 26th day of October, began the second 
lieavy bombardment, lasting without intermission, day and 
night, but with varying severity, for forty-one days, or until 
the 6th of December. The cause and object of it, as given by 
Major-General Gillmore, were as follows : " In consequence of 
the reports of prisoners and deserters from time to time that the 
enemy were at work remounting some guns on the south-east 
(sic) face of Sumter," and also with the intention " to cut down 
that face so as to enable us, with the fire from our guns, to take 
more completely in reverse the casemates on the channel fronts." 

To describe the progress of this bombardment in as much 
detail as the first would not be a profitable task. The dam- 
ages were leas observable and the aggregate results less import- 
ant. Yet its duration was more than twice as long as the other, 

* Reronnoissance of Long Tdand. — This was attempted several times in Octo- 
ber, 1863, under orders from General Gillmore, with a view to opening up 
"a basis of o{>erations for a new attack." In charge of this duty, Colonel 
W. W. H. Davis, One-Hundred-and-Fourth Pennsylvania, says: "In each 
instance we were foiled by the watchfulness of the enemy. Pickets were 

stationed on the shore and armed boats patrolled the water The enemy 

was always on the alert " 


and it diflered widely in character from the former, being at 
close range for the rifle-guns and easy range for mortars, which 
were now for the first time employed by the enemy. In fact, 
the»e mortars seemed to predominate in the firing. Another 
prominent difference also was the constancy and vigor of the 

But the leading events of the period are well worthy to be 
reviewed. The heaviest firing occurred in the first week or ten 
days of the bombardment. On two of those days more than 
one thousand projectiles per diem were discharged at the fort. 
The gorge and the sea-face appeared to be the parts aimed at by 
the rifles, and they soon began to show the effects of the fire. 
Its destrudiveness was increased by the cross-firing of the mon- 
itors, two of them being under orders every day to co-operate 
with the land-batteries. They would take their station off the 
eastern or sea-face, and while the land-batteries were forced to 
deliver only a slant fire on the fort, they would throw against 
it, squarely, heavy rifle as well as smoothbore projectiles. In 
consequence, the ramparts and arches of the upper casemates 
were soon cut down, and the debris, falling outside, formed now, 
for the first time, a practicable slope for assaulting-parties land- 
ing in small boats on this sea-face as well as on the gorge ; while 
the ruins of the barracks, accumulating on the inside, gave the 
garrison in some places an easy ramp for ascending to the crest 
of the wall. The two angles, however, at the respective extrem- 
ities of the sea-face, maintained their original height, lessened 
only by the destruction of the parapet. The crest of the gorge, 
though not reduced in height, except at one place, was much 
worn away and sharpened. A remark occurring in the Diary 
of the rear-admiral at this date Is highly descriptive: "The 
heap of rubbish at the goi^ looks invincible." 

As might be supposed, this period was marked by frequent 
casualties. Sentinels would be struck down at their posts at 
night, exposed more particularly on the lookout ladders. Mor- 
tar-shells sometimes found their way into the casemates of the 
three-gun battery before these could be made perfectly secure, 
and were very fatal in such close quarters. But the loss of life 
occurring at three o'clock on the morning of October 31 gt was 


of a still more distressing character. One of the detachments, 
pasted at night for the ready mounting of the sea-wall in case 
of alarm, was ordered to sleep with arms and accoutrements in 
the lower story of the eastern barracks near to their northern 
end. Both the upper stories of this building had been badly 
damaged by this time; but the rubbish accumulating on the 
second story seemed to be well sustained by the flooring of brick 
arches resting on heavy iron girders built into the walls for that 
purpose. So it happened that under this hitherto undisturbed 
shelter thirteen men, posted in what was thought a comparatively 
safe place, were sleeping on their arms when a shell brought 
down the overloaded floor upon them, and instantly killed them. 
This loss, with its attending circumstances, was deeply felt in 
the garrison and in the city of Charleston, whence most of the 
soldiers had come. With one exception they belonged to Com- 
pany A of the Washington Light Infantry and were attached to 
the Twenty-fifth South Carolina raiment. The names of the 
killed will be found in the note below.* 

A few days after the bombardment set in a change was made 
in the harbor commands. Brigadier-General Ripley, to whose 
head-quarters Major Elliott had been reporting, was put in 
charge of a larger district, and Colonel Rhett, the former com- 
mander of Fort Sumter, was once more installed in clase though 
advanced relations to his old post. This arrangement continued 
for some considerable length of time, Major Elliott reporting 
the remainder of his term of service to Colonel Rhett, acting as 
brigadier-general. . 

^ Serjreants W. C. Owens and J. A. Stevens ; Privates O. J. Burn, S. L. Bur- 
rows, F. M. Bun-ows, S. C. Anderson, jAmes Calder, W. E. Gibson, J. W. 
Jones, L. S. Lee. and W. L. Patterson, all of Company A, Washington Light 
Infantry. In addition to these were Private W. Martin of Twelfth Georgia 
battalion and Mr. Math ewes, overseer of hands. 

Later, 2l8t of November, a similar accident occurred, and is described in 
the engineer's di:iry as follows : " At 5.20 a. m. a remnant of the terreplein 
arch, east centre of gorge, was struck by a Parrott shell, and, falling inwardly 
into the parade below upon a working-party, buried ten of them in the ruins. 
I had used every endeavor before dark to pull down the arch with ropes, but 
could not succeed. Two white men were wounded, two blacks killed, and six 
wounded by the fall ; but three of the wounded are severely hurt ; the others 
are only slightly injured. 


Resort was had at this period to a novel mea*sure of offensive 
operation. Some very fine Whitworth rifles with telescopic 
sights had been obtained through the blockade, and after a 
litde practice were found to be quite effective from the walls 
of the fort upon the artillerists of Morris Island. Although 
the range was fully thirteen hundred yards to Curaming^s Point, 
the sharpsh(K)ting with four of these rifles was quite satisfactory 
and the effects on the enemy's detachments evident. The dis- 
parity in weight of metal was prodigious. 

But the chief concern of the commander was to be found 
ready for another assault by night with small boats. This he 
had even' reason to apprehend from the fury of the bombard- 
went in its first period and the darkness of the nights. Besides 
^ing a continual vigilance, personally visiting and inspecting 
^e posts and guards every few hours, he caused to be prepared 
*t the fort several devices for obstructing the practicable slopes 
^^ the exterior of the gorge and sea-face. These obstructions 
^^re of spiked plank, wire entanglements, and cliiefly sections 
^^/''aueSy presenting a bristling array of wooden pikes held 
^ther by a light scantling frame and supported by feet on 
^^ lower side. The placing and recovering of these last ob- 
^<^les every evening at dusk and every n\orning before daylight 
^^ a ta«5k of no little danger and difficulty. They were neces- 
^^^^y placed far enough below the crest not to interfere with the 
'"fantry fire behind and above them, and the exposure of the 
^^'ids charged with this duty was frequentlv attended with 

^'"om among the detailed men, mechanics, of the Engineer 
^»»tje. Private John H. Houston, Company B, Twenty-fifth 
^^th Carolina volunteers, was selected to superintend this 
^ork^ For a year or more, night after night, he continued to 
l^^form this special duty with skill, thoroughness, and distin- 
^^ished bravery. (For further illustration of his valuable ser- 
^^^^ see the next chapter, note on page 204.) He was promoted 
"^^ following year to be second lieutenant in the Second regiment 
^^igineer troops. 

^he wire entanglements also, placed in sections near the foot 
^* the slcjpc, were taken in every morning to prevent destruction. 


In iiddition to thcise, a boom of logs aiul iron elialns was main- 
tained about thirty yards off from the fort, to impede the boats 
in the act of landing. As this had to stand the day as well as 
the night firing, it was often cut up and required to be repairech 
Mountain-howitzers were now first mounted on the crest of the 
exposed slopes, but wei'e withdrawn in the day-time. 

Frequent alarms kept the garrison on the alert and justifies I 
every measure of caution or defense. Although there were fur- 
nished nightly two or more picket-lwats from the Confederate 
naval force in the harbor to guard the approaches to the fort on 
the sea-face and on the gorge, the Federal scouts would occa- 
sionally pass in between them and row quite around the fort.* 

It must have been by eluding the water-picket that a daring 
reconnoissance was made immediately after dark on the evening 
of the 2d of November. Three scouts in a small boat from 
Morris Island landed at the south-eastern angle, and when dis- 
covered were mistaken for Confederates and hailed by the sen- 
try. As soon as they sprang for their boat the alarm was given 
and some shots were fired at them, but they escaped in the dark- 
ness. The leader was a ** Captain Ferris, commanding the boat- 
infantry." Soon after dark in a small boat with two men he 
pulled over to the fort, and landed with one man. He climbed 
up the battered wall part of the way, when the boat was discov- 
ered and challenged. " The man in it had the good sense to 
parley with the sentinel a few minutes, which gave the captain 
and the other man time to get down into the boat before they 
wore fired upon ;" one of them was then wounded. {History 
of the One-Hundred-mid' Fourth Penni<yhania Regiment^ by 
W. W. H. Davis, ch. xxii. page 290.) 

On the night of the 17th, again, there were as many as four 
alarms caused by small boats reported quite near the fort ; and on 
the night of November 19th-20th, Major Elliott, having become 
suspicious of attack and made all preparations, was not disap- 
pointed. For at 3 a. m. " barges, variously estimated at from 
four to nine in number, approached within three hundred yards 
of the fort and opened fire with musketry.'* The garrison 

^ Opera fiovf. ffc, Gillmore Correspondence, pagp 348. Tliis service wm 
attended with great hardship and exposure in gales and wintry weather. 


returned the fire, wounding three men in the boats, and dis- 
concerting them from further advance. This was a planned 
attack by the army-barges, carrying, two hundred and fifty 
men, but it seems to have had little determination in it. As 
before, on the night of the 8th of Septeml)er, the batteries of 
Sullivan's' Island and Fort Johnson on James Island came to 
the assistance of Sumter. The ricochet practice from Sullivan's 
Island was reported " very handsome " by Major Elliott. It 
appears that this was a reconnoissance in force commanded by 
Major Conyngham of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania regiment. 
"The instructions were to make such demonstration against 
Fort Sumter as to induce the garrison to use their musketry- 
fire on the boats, and thus ascertain its strength. An assault 
was not to be made upon the fort unless it was evident that it 

could be easily taken The garrison appeared to have 

been on the watch. The boats were fired on from Fort Sum- 
ter, James and Sullivan's Islands, and by a steamer, probably a 
ram, that lay behind the angle of the fort toward Charleston." 
-(W. W. H. Davis.) 

The calcium light has been mentioned as used by General 
Gillmore with success in his siege of Battery Wagner. It was 
now put to use again, and very often, from Cumming's Point, 
lighting up the \yater between Morris Island and Fort Sumter 
well enough to discover small boats, but failing to illuminate 
the fort as brightly as it had done the battery. Toward the 
middle of this second bombardment, on the night of the 11th 
of November, the light was displayed at Battery Gregg for the 
first time. It was not so bright as the full moon, but one could 
read by it at the fort the large capitals of a newspaper. It was 
thought at first that the enemy's purjwse might be to discover 
the parties working at repairs or placing obstructions on the 
slopes, or possibly to detecft the passage of the transport-boats 
to and from the fort. But observation decided that the use of 
the calcium light was rather for defensive purposes, to reveal 
the approach of hostile boats from the Confederate side. The 
importance of the light in warfare cannot be too highly estimated. 
At Fort Sumter the defense might have been very greatly sim- 
plified by its use ; but the shining mark it would have afforded 


the enemy was enough, at this period of short-range firing, to 
condemn it. 

This calcium light was a great annoyance to the sentinels, ior 
it seemed to fascinate their gaze, diverting them too much from 
the proper objects of their watch ; and, in fact, it blinded them 
no little by interposing its plane of illumination with dazzling 
effect between their eyes and the dark waters of the harbor 
around them. The apj^earance of the light would sometimes 
he striking and beautiful, as from a focus of the intensest bril- 
liancy the rays would ap(^>ear to dart forth and flash upon an 
expanse of inky blackness ; then, touching or tipping the crest 
of the gorge, they would stream across the empty darkness of 
the interior, to be caught and reflected by the jagged pinnacles 
of the northern wall, standing out for the time in bold relief 
against the midnight sky above and the gloomy crater of the 
fort below. 

In fact, the view of the fort by night was at all times most 
impressive in its strange, silent grandeur. To a beholder looking 
down from the rim of the ruin, all within seems alike dark and 
gloomy, save when a chance shower of sparks, blown out from a 
smouldering fire letl in the parade, lights up for a moment some 
great, rugged blocks of brickwork and the pool of stagnant water 
into which they were tumbled from the battered walls some days 
before. Lanterns here and there glance across the spacious en- 
closure as, borne by unseen hands, they light the way — ^some 
for long files of men toiling with heavy timbers or bags of sand 
over the roughest footing and up steep, crumbling, dangerous 
slopes ; some to direct the heaping of material over damaged 
hiding-places, repaired for perhaps the fiftieth time since the 
firing began, or to secure a new and better shelter for the garri- 
son ; others, flashing through chance crevices in the ruined case- 
mates, tell of secret galleries of communication burrowing deep 
and mining their way slowly under hills of rubbish to give unity 
to the work and confidence to its defenders. 

Halfway up the sloping ruins of the fort, which resemble 
most the interior of an ancient amphitheatre, the guards are 
I)osted in groups, dimly seen wrapped in blankets, sitting around 
a little fire allowed to warm, but to give no light. Higher yet 


are the sentinels peering into the night over the remains of the! 
old fort's lampart^y.^^bile last, though not least, is the solitary 
"lookout," exposed full length to the dangers of the firing 
at the top of some ladder put up at the most critical breach. 
Even in the jnidst of .this heavy bombardment a new system 
pf interior defense was instituted and carried out. It was witb 
the purpose of contesting^ every foot of the parade and casemates 
against an enemy so b^M or successful as to drive the garrison 
from the walls. Every quarter from which a view of the interior 
could be had was now carefully loopholed for infantry fire, and 
at a favorable position near the north-western angle a 12-pounder 
howitzer protruded every night from under a low-browed arch, 
in readiness to sweep the parade with grape and canister. It 
was part of the plan also that, should the necessity ever arise, 
the harbor-batteries would, by signal given from Fort Sumter, 
open upon the assailants within the walls, exploding or dropping 
shells among them, until they were forced to leave. This " best- 
laid scheme," however, wa*^ never realized ; nor was it much 
talked about, for fear of begetting distrust in the far more 
advantageous plan of battle from the walls. It was only re- 
served for a last resort. 

Among the officers of the First regiment of South Carolina 
Artillery, who continued to perform with their companies o(x?a- 
sional duty at the fort, no one was more efficient and acceptable 
to the commander than Captain Francis Hugcr Harleston of 
Company D. In a despatch of November 20th, Major Elliott 
writes : ** I respectfully request that, if practicable. Captain 
Harleston be retained here until the dark nights have entirely 
passed by. His removal just at this time will be a great mis- 
fortune to me, as I am greatly dependent upon his watchfulness 
and ability." It was only three nights afler this testimonial 
was given that Captain Harleston's valuable life was sacrificed 
willingly and heroically to the cause he was defending. Quar- 
tered with his company in the armed casemates of the north-east- 
em angle, he had l)een put by the commander in additional charge 
of the adjacent sea-face, battered down to half its original height, 
and presenting, in places, even a practicable slojxi for assaulting 
forces of the enemy. The night of the 23d-24th of Novem- 



ber was one of those occasions when vigilance was especially 
needed. The enemy's fire, usually limited at night to shelling 
with mortars and 30-pounder rifles, had been heavier than the 
average rate, and toward morning the tide and wind together 
began to rise and beat with violence on the crumbling debris 
of tlic eastern slope. One of his sentinels reported to Captain 
Harleston (4.30 a. m.) that the waves were threatening to wash 
away some of the sections of fraises placed for obstruction half- 
way down to the water's edge. Instantly responding to the 
report, the active young officer climbed over the crest and b^an 
to pass along the line of obstnictions, inspecting as he went from 
one end to the other, accompanied by J. H. Houston of the Engi- 
neer department. While so engaged he was mortally wounded 
by a 30-pounder rifle shell passing between Houston and him- 
self, striking him, apparently before bursting, in both thighs 
and one arm at the elbow. Being lifted and borne in great 
pain to the haspital, he lingered, and died six hours after he 
fell at the post of duty,* 

For instances of gallantry in replacing the flag under fire this 
second bombardment more than equalled — it surpassed — ^the first. 
It seemed almost as if the spirit of 1776, so bravely illustrated 
by Sergeant Jasper in the battle of Fort Moultrie with the 
British fleet, had been for nearly a century preserved " in the 
air '' of Charleston harbor and cherished in the bosoms of all 
who defended it. 

The first occasion of this kind is thus recorded in Major 
Elliott's despatch of October 29th, being the third day of the 
bombardment: "The flagstafl^ was shot away this morning. 
Private William A. Dotterer and Privates James Silcox and 
Greorge H. Force, and Sergeant Robert A. McLeod of the 

^ He was a graduate with first honors of the South Carolina Military Acad- 
emy, class of 1S60. Distinguished there, he made good the promise of cadet- 
ship by active and efficient service in Charleston harbor. Prominent in every 
action from the beginning of the war, he won the praise of all who served 
with him, for he combined in remarkable degree the best qualities of a spirited, 
sagacious soldier with those of a true and gentle friend. This accomplished 
ofiicer fell before completing his twenty-fourth year. His State lost him from 
among the flower of her youth, and the Confederacy had no better young sol- 
dier in all her armies. 


Washington Light Infantry, assisted by Captain James M. 
Carson, oflScer of the day, gallantly replaced the flagstaif under 
a very heavy fire from Gr^g." 

The second and third occasions, recorded by both the major \ 
/commanding Fort Sumter and the rear-admiral whose monitors ^ 
were pounding the fort, belong to the same day, the 31st of 
October. The flag was at this time flown at the south-west 
angle from a stafl^ planted in the massive covering of sand 
; heaped over the spiral stairway. This covering of a vital part 
r^ of the work was, throughout its defense, maintained with pecu- 
liar pride at its original level, the highest point in the fort — 
VIZ. forty feet above the water. The rear-admiral says : " The 
Patapsco and Lehigh firing very well, scarcely missing. The 
flag-]x>le (at south-west angle) shot away twice, once by the 
Lehigh. A man got out on the wall and put it up."* The 
mention at Fort Sumter was by the commander in the follow- 
ing terms : " The flagstafl^ was shot away twice, and replaced by 
Sergeant Graham, Corporal Hitt, and Private K. Swain, all of 
Company F, Twelfth Georgia battalion. The flagstafi^ was so cut 
up that it was necessary to raise the battle-flag of the Twelfth 
Georgia battalion in the place of the flag." 

The fourth instance was on the 6th of November, and i&thus 
chronicled in the post^book of Fort Sumter : *' The flagstaff* was 
sliot down to-day, and was replaced by Sergeant W. D. Currie, 
Company D, and Corporal S. Montgomery, Company C, Twenty- 
fifth South Carolina volunteers." It appears that this was a new 
flag and staff" (raised only the day before) on the south-eastern 
angle, nearest to Morris Island. 

Tlie fifth was entered under date of the r2th of November, 
and mentioned in these terms : " The flag was replaced by Ser- 
geant G. H. Mayo, Company B., and Private Robert Antry, 
Company C, Twenty-eighth Georgia volunteers." 

The sixth and last occasion during this bombardment was 
more memorable than the rest, because of the difficulties as well 
as dangers encountered and overcome. The flag had now been 
kept flying at the south-eastern angle for some time, where its 
staflT was partly protected by a parapet of sandbags arranged to 
* Memoir of Dahlgren, page 421. 


give some shelter to the sentinel posted there by night and day. 
On the morning of the 27th of November, " Private James 
Tupper, Jr., shot-marker Company D, Twenty-seventh South 
Carolina volunteers (Charleston battalion), seeing that the flag 
had been shot down, walked along the whole extent of the gorge- 
wall on the parapet " (there was no parapet left there, only a 
thin, ragged crest) " and endeavored to raise it : finding that the 
staff was too short, he procured an additional piece of spar, and 
with the assistance of C. B. Foster of same command, and Cor- 
porals W. C. Buckheister and A. J. Bluett, Company B, same 
corps, succeeded in splicing and planting the staff under a very 
heavy fire directed at them. One shot cut the flag from their 
hands. It was a most distinguished display of gallantry." * The 
time occupied must have been fully fifteen minutes. The men 
were more than onoe hid from view by the smoke of bursting 
shells and the sand thrown in clouds about them. Their escape 
from all hurt was very remarkable. At the conclusion of their 
daring feat two of the party mounted the little parapet of sand- 
bags and waved their caps at the enemy in triumph. The 
bravery of Tupper and his comrades was made the subject of 
a complimentary order by General Beauregard ; they were all 
mentioned by name and their example commended to the whole 

As December came on the bombardment began to wane. On 
the 6th, for the first time in forty-one days, no shot was fired 
against the fort, and so its second great ordeal was passe<l. 

The results were briefly these : The sea-face or right flank of the 
work had lost the greater part of its upper casemates, the debris 
having formed large accumulations, with occasional practicable 
slopes, both within and without. From its original form, a 
perpendicular wall forty feet high, it was changed to an irregular 
mass of rubbish averaging twenty feet in height above tide, and 
showing a rugged crest of about six feet in width on the top. But 
the lower casemates, all filled with sand, were still forming the 
bulk of this barrier. The angles of the fort at either extremity 
of the sea-face still retained the level of the old terreplein of 
the ramparts. As the northern wall had been heavily battered in 
* Post-book, Major Elliott's despatch. 


reverse, it now presented the appearanoe of a range of rocky moun- 
tains, with an average height of twenty-five feet above the water, 
but no slope of debris on the exterior was protective of the lower 
casemates. The gorge had been changed in only one particular : 
as, on the northern wall, the focus or line of converging fire was 
well marked by a large breach made by missiles coming in re- 
verse, so there was a large semicircular gap in the crest of the 
gorge about midway between its centre and its eastern extremity, 
caused by the same converging fire on the mass of the fort. 

On the other hand, the Confederates had preserved and im- 
proved their quarters and perfected a system of interior defense. 
The great end striven for by the enemy — the destroying of the 
"thrte-gun battery" on the channel front — had been defeated: 
the guns were all in good condition and the casemates practically 

As a general thing, the soldiers of the garrison were spared 
fatigue-duty, the better to fit them for vigilance and activity at 
night. The labor and exposure of repairing damages, filling in 
and over weak places, setting and recovering the obstructions, 
making changes and improvements and accommodation, fell 
properly to the working-force, consisting at this time of one 
hundred negroes and a gang of ten white mechanics, organized 
under directions of the engineer in charge. The negroes were 
relieved every fortnight, were securely sheltered and rested in 
the day-time ; but as night came on they would be put to work 
and continued at it until daylight. Necessarily more exposed 
than the garrison, though never unduly so, they suffered casual- 
ties in proportion when at work, but never in quarters, as the 
garrison more frequently did. 

Captain J. T. Champneys served faithfully and efficiently as 
engineer in charge from September 3d to November 6th, 'being 
the twelfth day of the bombardment just concluded. On this 
night of the 6th-7th of November he was relieved by the return 
of Captain John Johnson to his old post. So important had 
now become the regular furnishing of the fort with sufficient 
materials for defense that great care had been taken by Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Harris, chief engineer of the department, to secure 
for Fort Sumter the requisite supplies of sand, gabions, timber, 


irons, iraplemente, and tools ; the preparation and transportation 
of these every night, except in stormy weather, was entrusted to 
a special officer in Charleston, Lieutenant W. Gourdin Young 
of the Engineers, who long continued to forward the work with 
skill and diligence. 

The services of Mr. (afterward Lieutenant) F. M. Hall as 
assistant engineer at the fort were also at this period and for 
many months longer very valuable. 

It was at this stage of the defense of the fort that the abso- 
lute necessity of regular nightly communication by boats with 
the city became apparent. Despatches, reliefs, provisions, sup- 
plies of material, demanded a regular service of transportation. 
The quartermaster department, under Major M. A. Pringle, wa^ 
often in great straits for boats, small and large, and sometimes ap- 
parently for captains willing to land at the fort under any fire at 
all. But there were some who distinguished themselves by a faith- 
ful performance of these duties all through the various bombard- 
ments of the fort. Prominent in devoted and long-continued 
service was Lieutenant Thomas L. Swinton (of the quartermaster 
department), put in charge of the mail-boat more particularly ; 
and among the commanders of steamboats was Captain W. T. 
McNelty of the Etiwan. Frequently the shelling would be so 
severe as to require the steamboats to lie off three hundred yards 
from the fort and send supplies in small boats to the wharf. 
One of the boats during the first bombardment was blown up 
by a shell exploding the boiler as she was discharging at the 
wharf, and barges were frequently injured in the same service. 

In reporting the aggregate of shots fired at Fort Sumter dur- 
ing these forty-one days and nights, resort must be had to the 
counting and registering of them at the fort itself, as no record 
of them has been found among the Union army authorities. 
The comparison of the two estimates in the case of the first 
bombardment showed the Confederate to be slightly greater than 
the Federal count. In the case of the second grand bombard- 
ment the total shot and shell fired by rifles and mortars was 
18,G77.* (For particulars, see Appendix A, Calendar, etc.) 

* The naval fire included in this total was not less than 1000, so far as re- 
ported, and was delivered by the monitors Lehigh and Patapsco with rifles 
and smoothbores. (Ex. Doc, Armored Vewels, page 280.) 


The casualties for the same time were 30 killed and 70 
wounded ; 13 of the former were caused by the falling of a 
floor in the eastern barracks, as previously described. Among 
the slain, besides Captain Harleston, was an estimable young 
officer, Lieutenant A. P. Brown, Company A, Twelfth Georgia 
battalion, who was killed by the naval fire on the second day. 

The large number of night-alarms was a feature of this period, 
and served to train the garrison to the utmost vigilance and 
promptness. So many small boats as were seen from night to 
night could only have been under orders to reconnoitre the fort 
with a view of attempting a second assault. As always hap- 
pened, the garrison was found to be on the alert and not to be 
surprised in this manner. The discovery may liave deterred 
from the attempt. 



I>ecember 6, 1863-May 4, 1864. 

Views of the Fort taken after the Second Great Boicbardment — A 
Brief Season of Rest— The Small- arms Magazine Blown up by 
Accident, December Uth— Death of Captain Frost, with Ten 
Others, and many Wounded — Heavy Shelling (Second Minor 
Bombardment)— Western Casemates catch Fire from Explosion 
— Extent and Severity of Injuries — Critical Condition of the 
Fort from Scarcity of Shelter— Rebuilding of Tower-stairs 
— Construction of a Long Gallery by Mining the Ruins of 
the Northern Casemates — A Christmas Dinner in the ** Three- 
gun Battery" — The Third Minor Bombardment — Gallant Re- 
placing OF THE Flagstaff— Operations on John's Island— Sink- 

IN THE Quarters— Fourth Minor Bombardment— Guns Mounted 
IN THE Western Casemates— Fifth Minor Bombardment— Gen- 
eral Beauregard goes to Defend Petersburg, Va. — Major-Gen- 
eral Samlt:l Jones succeeds to the Command of the Depart- 
ment—Lieutenant-Colonel Elliott Promoted and Transferred, 
after Eight Months' Service in Fort Sumter, to the Army in 


It has been mentioned that the 
second great bombardment came to 
an end December 5, 1863, after a du- 
ration of forty-one days and nights.* 
The fort enjoyed, through tlie greater 
part of December and Januarj^ a 
quiet that was highly favorable to 
repairs and improvements, while it 
was visited at the same time with 
fort SUMTER'S FLAG, JANUARY ^ ealamitv more destructive than the 
29. 1864. , ;l , , , , 

(From a sketch by the author.) cucmy's fire could havc been. 

* On the next day the monitor Weehawken foundered at her anchorage off 
Morris Island. (For particulars see Appendix of this chapter.) 


Previously to this, however, on the night of the 7th of De- 
cember, Lieutenant John R. Key of the Engineers, and Mr. 
Chapman, artist on duty in the chief engineer's office at Rich- 
mond, arrived under orders to execute sketches and take views 
of the historic ruin. The period was well chosen, for, besides 
being at the close of a severe bombardment, it marked also what 
was the most picturesque stage of the fort's ever-changing ap- 
pearance. The bold and striking outlines of the northern wall 
had only been produced by the recent firing ; and they were soon 
to be lost in the changes which attended the gradual conversion 
of Fort Sumter from a brick- to an earth-work. In the same 
way, the scene of confusion all over the parade was to give way 
before long to more orderly arrangements. 

The view presented is one of two drawn with great accuracy 
by Lieutenant Key, copies of which were photographed, mount- 
ed, and sent with autograph presentation by (Jeneral Beaur^ard 
to both Lieutenant-Colonel Elliott, the commander, and Captain 
Johnson, the engineer in charge — a gift and compliment, as 
might be supposed, very highly appreciated by them. 

The observer is looking eastward, with his back turned to 
the city of Charleston. The sea-line of the horizon is at a hi^h 
level before him ; the shores of the entrance to the harbor and 
the expanse of water within and beyond the bar are spread be- 
neath his eye. The blockading fleet, and more particularly the 
iron-clad squadron, are visible in the distance. In the fore- 
ground is Fort Sumter, its flag flying from the south-eastern 
angle, nearest to Morris Island, its gorge extending from that 
point to the south-western angle, where the sentinel stands at ^ 
the passage down the spiral stairway. The eastern or sea-face, 
beginning at the flagstafi^, runs toward Sullivan's Island as far 
as the square door-head seen near the ruined arches in that direc- 
tion. Just below, in the parade, is seen one of the hot^shot 
furnaces, almost covered by the foot of the large mound which 
protects the " three-gim battery " from the reverse fire of the 
Federals. About the centre of the next or north-eastern face 
will be noticed two arches of the lower casemates which adjoin the 
battery, and are loopholed for infantry-fire upon the interior and 
the crest of the gorge. The northern wall is marked by peaked 


and jagged masses of remaining masonry, and extends to the 
vicinity of the two lower arches, covered with gabion-work 
and opening toward the parade. Under the observer the case- 
mates of the city face are situated ; here are located soldiers' 
quarters, the hospital, sally-port, head-quarters, and the tele- 
graph office. Midway on the gorge, outside the fort, is seen 
the original stone w^harf, while within appears the rounded cov- 
ering of the '* centre bombproof," as it was called. The ladders 
observed at various points are necessary to the manning of the 
walls in case of assault by night. The wrecks of platforms and 
gun-carriages, the dismounted guns half buried in the ruin, — 
the picture of destruction, in a word, is not in the least exag- 

Since the bombardment, matters at the fort had begun to 
settle down into something like quiet, and even comfort The 
soldiers of the garrison would sun themselves with great enjoy- 
ment on the cold days, and the working-force was kept steadily 
engaged at something more like progressive improvement than 
their late nightly employ of filling the furrows ploughed by tlie 
rifle-shots on the exterior slopes or the more regular craters made 
by the mortar-shells dropping all over the fort. The carpenters 
were busy in the quarters, making them more comfortable for 
the winter, and everything betokened a sense of relief from 
troubles past and a brave spirit of endurance for the future. 
At this juncture a disaster of the most serious and distressing 
nature befel the past. 

Inconsiderable as were the necessities of the fort, there had 
been for some time past three magazines stored and ready for 
use. It was convenient, and it seemed wise, to separate the 
ammunition as much as was consistent with safety. The 
arrangement was as follows : a service magazine adjacent to the 
" three-gun battery," a reserve magazine in the recesses of the 
"centre bombproof," and a third, for the small-arms and how- 
itzer ammunition, in the inner chamber of the original magazine 
of the south-western angle. This was the lower pair of cham- 
bers, those belonging to the upper casemates having been long 
since abandoned and partially filled with sand. The small-arms 
magazine, then, as it was called to distinguish it from the others, 







lay secure behind the massive protection of brick and stone, to- 
gether with the fallen debris aflfbrded by the exterior of the gorge 
in that vicinity. It was next to the spiral stair-tower in the 
south-western angle, and adjoining the western or city face of 
the fort. But both cliambers were not in use for purposes of a 
magazine : the limited accommodations of the post furnished no 
secure place for the commissary stores, and they were accord- 
ingly kept in the outer chamber of this magazine. It was 
known to be hazardous so to divide the use of the two cham- 
bers, but there seemed to be a necessity for it in the straitened 
circumstances of the fort. The contents of the inner chamber 
consisted of an incongruous assortment of rifle-cartridges, fixed 
ammunition for howitzers, hand-grenades, fire-bottles, signal- 
rockets, sensitive tubes for priming, shells and torj>edoes, etc. 
etc. Perhaps three hundred pounds of powder would have 
made up the explosive total. 

This magazine was blown up at half-past nine o'clock on the 
morning of the 11th of December, with many casualties and 
much damage to the fort. The enemy had not fired a shot for 
several days, and the sentinel at the look-out reported no gun 
fired at the fort that morning before the accident. The safety 
of this jiarticular locality from all kinds of shelling had never 
for a moment been questioned. All who could have told the 
cause perished in the explosion. There were 11 killed and 
41 wounded, only 9 of the latter being dangerously so. 

Among the killed, having fallen at his post in the commis- 
sary store, was Captain Edward D. Frast, A. Q. M., serving 
as post-commissary. This officer had but recently reported for 
duty, but was well known for business capacity and esteemed for 
his fine traits of character. Unfortunately, the commissary store 
and the passages communicating with it were at the hour of 
explosion crowded with soldiers drawing rations, while the nar- 
row limits of the chambers and galleries adjacent, together with 
the impossibility of the powder-blast finding much expansion 
upward, may 'account for the large number of sufferers. 

But the results extended beyond casualties. Outwardly, there 
was little effect visible to the enemy : the noise was too dull to 
have reached them, and they could have been made aware of 


the explosion only by noticing at the instant tke upheaval and 
subsidence of the debris above the magazine. This displace- 
ment left no change in the appearance of the gorge-slope, so far 
as they could see ; but high up, near the crest, a pit eighteen 
feet square and about ten feet deep had been made, as the whole 
superincumbent mass fell into the open space below. Yet by 
the smoke the accident was discovered, and the batteries opened 
with guns and mortars on the fort within ten minutes after the 
occurrence. Inside, the effects were immediate and violent, fol- 
lowed by others more serious and destructive. The noise of the 
explosion was notloud, but accompanied by the heavy, crashing 
sound of falling masses. The blast from the magazine rushed 
into the adjoining commissar}- store, where the morning issues 
were going on, and thence into the passage communicating on 
the one hand with the circular stair and the casemates of the 
western front, and on the other with the gallery leading out into 
the parade. In its course the occupants of these thorough- 
fares were instantly killed; and its violence, with concussion 
and scorching, was transmitted even up the stairway and into 
the nearest casemates of the second tier, where several com- 
panies of the garrison were quartered. 

At this early stage the aspect of affairs was most alarming. 
All the localities just mentioned required constant lighting, and 
were now plunged in total darkness. At the lower casemate on 
the city front,* occupied by Lieutenant-Colonel Elliott and Cap- 
tain Johnson, it could not be immediately divined what had 
happened, nor could it for some minutes be determined. The 
principal noise was that made by heavy bodies falling to the 
ground, and although the smoke of powder came with it the 
explosion was attributed not at first to the magazine, but to the 
chest of hand-grenades and combustibles kept in readiness to 
repel assault at the top of the spiral stairway. These, it was 
thought, might have been reached by a chance shell from the 
batteries of Morris Island. And even when, upon pushing 
through the throng of terrified and wounded men making for 

* This was next to the postern and near to the scene of the accident. A few 
months later the head-quarters casemate was one about midway on the city 
front, and so remained until the end. 


the open air, it was seen that a furious fire was already raging 
in the commissary storeroom, the true cause was not conjectured, 
for it was feared that this fire would blow up the magazine at 
any moment. Those who could have told the true story were 
lying dead in the chambers and passages, and nothing trust- 
worthy could be obtained from the lips of the wounded men. 
It was only as the flames increased and the explosion was placed 
beyond a doubt as already past, that the real nature of the occur- , 
renco could be understood. y 

But the relief of mind, if relief it was, could not last long. 
Already the flames, fed by the combustible^ of both the ordnance 
and commissary stores, were defying control. Hot air and dense 
smoke were filling all the passages, forcing out the men in the 
lower and cutting off those in the upper casemates. In this 
extremity numbers of tlie latter were passed down by ladders, 
outside of the city front, through an opening recently made for 
a machicaiUis gallery in that vicinity. A determined effort 
made by Captain Alfred S. Gaillard and some of his men of 
the First Soutli Carolina Artillery to barricade the passage-way 
leading into the western casemates, by the free use of wet sand- 
bags piled in haste to arrest the flames, was, after a struggle for 
breath, defeated. Nothing remained but to reduce the draft by 
obstructing all the available openings, the embrasures, the door- 
way of the stair-tower on the ramparts, the postern near the 
south-western angle, and the gallery leading from the magazine 
into the parade. This was little, but it was all that could be 
done, and the fire was left to expend itself. 

It has been said above that the enemy opened on the fort, soon 
after the explosion.* Some casualties occurred from this firing, 
tlie commander being slightly, and Percival Elliott, acting ad- 
jutant of the post, being severely, wounded. During the firing, 
which lasted for some hours, there was required to be constant 
exposure in crossing the parade and communicating around the 

' It 18 difEciiU to avoid making the comparison here hetween the war-spirit 
exhibited in this and the generosity in that action of General Beauregard in 
April, 1861, when^ seeing Major Anderson's barracks set on fire and his maga- 
zines endangered, he offered to send fire-engines to the fort ; which offer was 
declined. (MUitary Opei-ations, vol. i. p. 46.) 


outside of the fort between the burning e&seniates and the " three- 
gun battery/' where now the commander established his heed- 
quarters. Among those who rendered vahiable service at this 
juncture and obtained honorable mention in the official report 
of the day were Captain M. H. Sellers and Lieutenant L. A. 
Harper of the Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers, Mr. 
W. R. Cathcart, telegraph operator/ and a boat's crew witli 
water-buckets sent to the fort under fire from the Confederate 
ram lying off Fort Johnson. Besides these, a detachment of 
Georgians worked bravely in the parade, and Lieutenant Logan 
of the Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers distinguished 
himself. This shelling continued for several hours. 

By noon the flames had consumed everything combustible in 
the upper casemates adjoining the south-western angle, and had 
begun to destroy the upper flight of wooden steps in the same 
locality, and finally the valuable bombproof timbers w^hieh cov- 
ered and sei!ured the stair-tower itself. Their progress was 
slower in the casemates of the first tier, and not until nightfall 
was the woodwork in them consumed, the fire stopping at the 
howitzer platform in the casemate of the new sally-port. In 
the other direction, from the magazine inwardly to the parade, 
the principal thoroughfare gallery of timber construction was 
destroyed until about midway of its length, where the caving-in 
of sand from above arrested the flames. 

Access to the upper casemates was obtained by copious water- 
ing: in time to provision and reinforce the weary garrison that 
nijjht. No (H)mmunication with the wharf conld be had through 

' General I '.eau regard, in department general orders, commended Mr. Cath- 
cart for " remarkable courage and energy *' exhibited on this occasion. Driven 
by the smoke and flames to abandon his office, this young openitor acted with 
great coolness in disengaging all his wires and moving his instrnnient in 
safety to a more distant point ; but from that also he was driven after having 
established himself for a short time. Finally, a place of safety was found, and 
the submarine communication was restored in two days by the use of addi- 
tional cable. Mr. Cathcart served long at Fort Sumter — from the opening 
of the first bombardment under Colonel Rhett to the close of Lieutenant- 
Ck)lonel Elliott's command, upward of ten months. The obligation of the 
other branches of military service to both the telegraph operators and the 
signal corps, was constant ; and it gave general satisfaction to see the com* 
plimeutary notice taken of the operator at Fort Sumter, 


the lower casemates or the sally-port ; the gates of the latter were 
burnt away, and the bricks within as hot as though in an oven. 
It was found necessary to ascend by ladder from the wharf to the 
opening in the wall already mentioned, through this into the yet 
smoking ear^emates of the upper tier, and out of these, by lad- 
der a^in, up to within three feet of the crown of the arch ; 
thence finally down fully thirty feet by the rough footing of 
the debris slope into the parade. Fresh water was supplied by 
hot?e pa^ed through an embrasure of the east battery from the 
water-boat outside. To such straits was the fort suddenly 
redoced. (For particulars see the commander's report in Ap- 
pendix of this chapter.) 

The lower casemates continued at a high heat until gradually 
cooled by water during the next two days ; while the commis- 
i«ary store, where the fire originated, was only brought to view 
after two more days spent in removing the sand caved and 
fallen to a depth of ten feet in the stair-tower, and in quanti- 
ties sufficient to fill up the passages. Entrance into the store- 
room itself was not effected until the tenth day spent in cooling 
its red-hot walls. The effect of the fire on the masonry here, 
and elsewhere in less degree, was exceedingly injurious. The 
arch of the inner chamber or magazine proper had fallen in, 
entirely filling the space with debris brought down with it 
from the slope of the gorge. The arch of the commissary 
rfKim was hanging in the most precarious wndition, the crack- 
injs: of the bricks being audible during the process of cooling. 
The bricks in the stair-tower from bottom to top were burnt 
and friable to the depth of an inch and a half. So were the 
bricks in all the casemates through which the fire had passed. 
In the second tier the scarp-wall had started away from the 
pier:?, in one place a full inch. The pier arches of the lower 
tier were all cracked at the crown and haunches. 

If the particulars of this combined explosion and fire may 
seem to have been related in too great detail, the reason is that 
the extent and severity of the fort's injuries have never before 
been made public ; and, in fact, they were not adequately appre- 
ciated by all who knew them at the time. It w^as not alone the 
damaged masonry or the desolated quarters, with their urgent 



call for immediate attention to the refitting of them and the re- 
storing of all communications, that gave alarm at this juncture ; 
it was more especially the crowded, uncomfortable, and unhealthy 
life at the fort which followed upon the disaster, and threat- 
ened the abandonment of the po8t. So much was this the cade, 
that if the enemy had chosen to maintain for one week the 
heavy fire opened for a few hours on the morning of the explo- 
sion the evacuation of the fort might have been necessarily brought 
about. If the first crisis in Fort Sumter's historj' had been 
at the close of the August bombardment, when General Beau- 
regard decided, against the opinion of some, to approve his chief 
engineer's advice and hold the ruins with infantry- to the la.<t 
extremity, the second crisis was surely this of the Uth of De- 
(;ember following. Through default of such harassing fire its 
the Federals, combining their land and naval artillery, miglu 
have kept up for a week or more at this time, the defense of 
Fort Sumter was successfully prolonged. 

A few nights after the catastrophe the fort was visited ft»r 
the purpose of inspection, and at the request of the engineer 
in charge, by Grenei'al Beauregard, accompanied by Colonel 
Rhett and Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, chief engineer. By 
their orders the most vigorous measures were immediately 
taken to restore the burnt quarters and communications of 
the interior. The furnishing of materials for construction, the 
transportation, the supply of labor, all received new impulse 
from this date, and the difficulties seemed only to have stimu- 
lated to new and stronger resolves. A magazine was again 
prepared in the place of the exploded one, by dividing the 
commissary room, where the fire originated, into two halves 
of a triangular section, the upper filled in over heavy logs 
slanted diagonally from top to bottom of the room ; the lower 
half secured in this way to accommodate the ordnance supplies 
needed in that precinct of the fort. The brickwork overhead 
in this chamber was so cracked and damaged as to make the 
transformation a work of extreme peril until the injured arch 
was relieved by the sand-filHng over the lo<rs. 

Stout planks and heavy timber took the place of sandbags, 
hitherto used in the lower casemates to retain the slopes of the 


protecting counterfort The pier-arehes of the same locality 
were all strengthened with timber frames and centring. The 
upper casemates of the burnt district were narrowed to receive 
a framed chamber, eight feet square in section and extending 
through four or five of them, with sand filled above and around 
the timbers. These changes in the upper and lower casemates 
afforded quarters altogether superior to those in use before the 

A task of labor and patience was the clearing out and refitting 
of the stair-tower in the south-western angle, filled for one-third 
of its total height of thirty-four feet with rubbish, broken stone 
steps, charred timbers, and sand. Three flights of stairs, capj>ed 
with the heaviest of timber roofing and covered with six feet 
of sand, put this most important thoroughfare once more into 
good condition. From the same tower there had to be entirely 
rebuilt galleries of communication with the new bombproof 
quarters of the second tier and with the parade of the fort in 
the interior of the soutli-western angle. This latter thorough- 
fare gallery required to be mined through the sand-filling of 
two rooms to its opening into the parade, close under cover of 
the " indestnictible " gorge. This work was greatly hindered 
by the caving and sliding of the sand. 

But the undertaking that called for most perseverance and 
arduous labor was the putting into some order, and even turning 
to useful purpose, the ruins of the northern and north-eastern 
faces. The illustrations have shown how utterly demolished 
these parts were outwardly to the casual observer, but no idea 
could be conveyed of their inward destniction. With the ex- 

' It wag in this reffinn of the fort that one of the most picturesque eflects 
vas prodnced by the combination of ruin and repair. About midway on the 
western fnce one of the npper casemates lay partly open to the reverse fire of 
the iron-clad ships, and was not used for quarters. But next to it, and com- 
municating with it over the top of a harrier of sandbags, was another case- 
mate where a detachment of the garrison found very good shelter, though 
bat little comfort. This latter became known as the "Robbei-s* Cave." 
Everything within and without was of the wildest form and composition. 
To stand by night where one could spy through the outer casemate, close 
under its battered arch, over the barrier and down into the dark recesses of 
tlie inner chamber, where a flickering fire alone lighted up the soldiers asleep 
or on guard, was to be living among the mountains of romance. 


ception of those used for the " three-gun battery," all the case- 
mates, upper and lower, of these two faces of the fort were 
either badly damaged or entirely shot away, and the whole 
series buried in debris of the most compact, ponderous, and 
incongruous nature. Huge masses of brickwork or concrete, 
tons in weight, splintered and broken beams of wood, bars ami 
rails of iron, sometimes entire, heavy guns, carriages, chassis, 
and platforms, w^edged tight with wrecked packages of quarter- 
master or commissary stores, coastituted altogether as chaotic a 
pile as could be conceived. 

It was determined to build a gallery through this mass, so as 
to bring the north-eastern angle of the fort, where the armed 
casemates bore on the channel, into communication with head- 
quarters on the western front. There was only one way of 
doing this, and that was by mining or tunnelling through the 
long ridge of ruins that lay between the sally-port on the west 
and the "three-gun battery" on the east. This bold plan was 
forthwith put in execution, and, although four weeks were re- 
quired for its construction, the gallery was pushed, through 
innumerable obstacles, to its successful ending. With a section 
three feet wide and six feet high it was built, for the most part, 
of heavy plank, but where the arches of the lower casemates 
had been crushed in, heavy timber was substituted for the plank. 
Immovable blocks of solid masonry were cut through ; gun- 
carriaj^es had to be sawed or chopped out of the way ; caving 
of ruined masses had to be encountered, and all manner of 
delays endured before the work was done. It was two hundred 
and seventy-five feet in length. Another gallery of the same 
plan, but of less importance, was conducted by mining at the 
same time through some of the basemeht rooms of the gorge, to 
communicate with the abandoned south-eastern magazine fron» 
the direction of the " centre bombproof." * The execution was 
through wet sand and through wetted cotton-bales, except on 
approaching the magazine, where a pier of solid brick five feet 
in thickness was met and passed through before the gallery 
attained its full length of fifty feet. The two chambers of this 
abandoned magazine became, from this date to the eud of the 


defense, valuable places of reserve, being used for the storage 
of provisions. 

On the exterior of the fort the mass of debris thrown down 
by the liattering of the eastern wall was constantly exposed to 
the action of the waves, and at times so reduced in bulk as to 
contribute nothing to the protection of that flank of the work. 
In rough weather the breakers would dash their spray over the 
crest of the wall, which was in places not more than twenty feet 
above high water. To stop the loss of valuable material in this 
direction a line of iron girders, once flooring-joists, was planted 
at the water's edge, the irons being set perpendicularly in the 
crevices of the rocks, and serving, like the posts of a fence, to 
retain other irons laid horizontally and piled one upon another, 
so as to secure the debris in a kind of permanent footing for the 
slope above. This retaining wall of irons and solid masses of 
brick masonry about four feet high proved to be a durable 
adjunct to the stabilitj" of this much-exposed flank. The up- 
right irons were made also to carry lines of wire entanglement 
above the retaining wall. 

In all this time, as the year was drawing to a close, the enemy 
maintained no more than a weak, desultory fire upon the fort. 
It was done with 30-pounder rifles from Cumming's Point and 
mortars from their middle battery. Such firing was always 
recorded with the severer sort, but it need have no further 
reference made to it in this historj'. It served but to mark in 
its way the ordinary climate of the post. 

The commander, always ready to inspire with something of 
his own buoyancy the minds of his comrades and the garrison, 
announced his purpose to make preparations for spending a merry 
Christmas in Fort Sumter. The surroundings were not likely to 
lend the project aught of the " grace of congruity." Festivities 
were rare enough at the fort. Nevertheless, some extras were 
arranged for the soldiers, and the several messes of the officers 
were gladdened by the receipt of well-packed boxes and hampers 
from their homes. A notable dinner was spread for the occasion 
in the head-quarters casemate of the " three-gun battery." For a 
table the chassis of a 10-inch columbiad, run forward into battery, 
furnished three irregular lines of support to dishes and plates ; for 


chairs, it was found that carpet-bags, sandbags, valises, stands of 
grape, and even round shot, could be used ; while with plentiful 
supplies of roast turkey, wild ducks, oysters, sweet potatoes, etc 
the hardships of life were greatly alleviated. But there was a 
reminder of grim-visaged war presented that day in tlie centre- 
piece of the banquet. It was nothing less than the half of a 
monstrous shell, fifteen inches in diameter, set in a flattened 
sandbag and serving for a punch-bowl to the dinner-party. 

The Confederates on John's Island had for some time been 
preparing a Christmas visit to the gunboats lying in Stono off 
Legardville. But when they opened on the Marblehead at early 
dawn of the 25th with some light a!id some heavy siege-gims, 
it soon became evident that the navy was not to be caught nap- 
ping this time, as when the Isaac Smith was captured a year 
before. Though considerably damaged, the Marblehead fought 
well, and, being joined by the Pawnee and a mortar-schooner, 
the three brought the action to a close within an hour, defeating 
the Confederates, and causing them to leave behind two 8-inch 
siege-howitzers for a prize to the victors. 

About the middle of January, 1864, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Elliott, for the first time since assuming command of Fort 
Sumter four months previous, sought a brief respite of one 
week's absence, leaving Captain Francis T. Miles of the Charles- 
ton battalion (Twenty-seventh South Carolina volunteers) in his 
place. Short as it was, this officer's term of command was dis- 
tinguished by an occurrence as unexpected as it was agreeable. 
This was a visit paid the fort by a small party of ladies under 
the escort of an officer of high rank. Threading the labyrinth 
of galleries and damaged casemates, clambering over ruined 
arches up to the very crest of the battered walls, the venturous 
party seemed to enjoy the incident. Favored by mild weather, 
by a clear, moonlight night, and no firing at all, the visit could 
not have been better timed. 

A few nights later and they would have been too roughly 
prreeted, for while the transport-steamer was unloading at the 
wharf on the night of the 28th of January the enemy opened 
with mortars quite seriously, following after daylight with heavy 
rifles and columbiads. The battering fire was first directed at 



the south-eastern, and afterward at the south-western, angle. This 
lasted continuously for three days, or until the 1st of February, 
aod may be recorded as the third minor l>ombardment. The 
second was that opened on the fort when the magazine exploded 
(December 1 1th). The total of shot and shell fired was 683, as 
may be more particularly seen in the Calendar of the Appendix. 
Considerable material was lost by the fort, but reiDairs every 
night restored it.^ \ 

/ It was during this minor bombardment that another of those 
/ gallant feats of flag-raising was performed for which the post 
was becoming distinguished. As the despatch of the com- 
manding officer well describes the scene, it is best to give it 
here in full : " At 3 P. M. (January 30th) the flagstaff (at the 
south-eastern angle) was shot down. It was first replaced upon 
a small, and afterward upon a larger, staff by Private F. Sha- 
fer, Company A, Lucas's battalion, who stood on the top of the 
sand-parapet and repeatedly waved the flag in the sight of the 
enemy. He was assisted by Corporal Brassingham and Private 
Charles Banks of the same corps, and by Mr. Henry Bentivo- 
\ glio Middleton of the Signal Corps, who is acting as adjutant 
\ of the post in the absence of the regular officer. They were 
' exposed to a rapid and accurate fire of shells. At the close 
I of the scene, Shafer, springing from the cloud of smoke and 
I dust made by a bursting shell, stood long waving his hat in 
I triumph. It was a most gallant deed, and the effect upon the 
I ^rrison was most inspiring." This scene occurred on the same 
spot as that recorded in the case of Private James Tupper two 
months previous, and the same remarkable absence of casualty 
attended it. Like the former, this feat also was made the sub- 
\ ject of a general order. 

While Sumter was allowed a respite at this time. General 
fiillmore prepared an invasion of Florida, and made part of 
his plan to be a diversion in considerable force on John's Isl- 
and, South Carolina. On Februar}' 9th, while he was landing 


I General Gillmore's head-qnarters were at tKis time removed to Hilton 
Head, Brigadier-General Terry was established at Folly Island, and Colonel 
W. W. H. Davis, acting brigadier, was in oommand of Morris Island with 
oOQO men and nearly 100 guns. 


6000 men under Brigadier-General T. Seymour at Jacksonville, 
•Florida, the Union troops appeared, 2000 strong, on John's 
Island. They were met a mile above " the haul-over," and 
resisted stublwrnly by Major John Jenkins, commanding a 
small force, mostly cavalry, and with two guns of Parker's 
battery (Marion Artillery). On the two following days the 
Confederates, reinforced by a Virginia brigade under Briga- 
dier-General Henry A. Wise and by a portion of Colquitt's 
Georgia brigade en route to Florida, made a stand at Fripp's 
house, from three to four miles from "the haul-over," with 
about 2000 men. The Confederate artillery engaged consist- 
ed of two light batteries, Parker's and Charles's, which were 
effectually served. But it was apparent that the movement was 
ending on the part of the invaders, for they withdrew from 
John's Island on the 12th, covered by the fire of their gun- 
boats. Their loss is unknown ; the loss of the Confederates 
was only 17. To favor General Wise, the harbor-batteries were 
ordered to open vigorously upon Morris Island, and they did so. 
The concentration of troops by the Confederates, notwithstand- 
ing this diversion on John's Island, was so complete in Florida 
that the victory of Olustee or Ooean Pond on the 20th of Feb- 
ruary well rewarded General Beauregard for his pains and 
preparations in defense of his military department. 

Another demonstration with the same purpose was^madeon 
Bull's Bay. Of 1 000 men but few were landed, on account of 
stormy weather : this was Marc»h 8th, and attracted little atten- 
tion (Davis). 

A more serious event of this period was the sinking of the 
blockader steam-sloop Housatonic, carrying eleven guns, off 
Charleston harbor, February 17th, by a "fish," or diving, tor- 
pedo-boat fitted out in Charleston and commanded by Lieuten- 
ant G. E. Dixon of the Twenty-first Alabama raiment. This 
daring officer and his crew of six perished in the attack.* After 
tlie war the " fish " boat was found at the bottom close to the 

' The men's names^ were ** Arnold Becker, C. Simpkins, James A. Wicks, 

F. Collins, Ridgway, all of the Confederate navy, and Corporal C. F. 

Carlson of Captain F. W. Wagoner's company of artiUerj." {Seharf, psge 


wreck of the larger vessel. Captain Pickering of the Housa- 
tonic was seriously bruised by the explosion, and five others 
were drowned : Ensign E. C. Hazeltine, C. O. Muzzey, John 
Williams, Thomas Parker, and John Walsh. 

Before operations in Charleston harbor were resumed with 
any earnestness there was chronicled on the calendar of Fort 
Sumter one of those pleasant incidents which serve to break 
through the clouds of war as with a gleam of light and peace. 
It is mentioned by the authorities of both sides that the 22d 
of February, 1864, was celebrated with becoming military 
salutes, the Federal fleet and the batteries on Morris Island 
joining with the forts, gunboats, and fortifications of the Con- 
federates in commemorating the birthday of George Washing- 
ton. At Fort Sumter there were doing duty at this time, under 
Captain James M. Carson, parts of two companies of the Wash- 
ington Light Infantry (Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers). 
As the day was likewise the anniversary of their organization, it 
was celebrated by them with the permission of the commander 
of the post. They banqueted with toasts, songs, speeches, and 
the music of their favorite brass band (Muller's Eutaw) ; alto- 
gether, with more elegance and completeness, in the then refitted 
casemates of the western flank, than the head-quarters mess had 
done two months before when they ate their Christmas dinner 
in the crowded battery in the opposite quarter of the fort. 
Doubtless, there were many such festive gatherings under the 
Union flag that day — significant all that when hostile camps 
concur in such an observance they are preparing unconsciously 
for pacification and reunion.^ 

This was the period marked by the introduction of something 
quite new in the defense of fortresses. A post so advanced as 
Fort Sumter had become since September was perilously iso- 
lated, and on the dark nights greatly exposed to capture from 
assault. Everything in such a case depended on the promptest 
manning of the walls to repel attack; and to effect this General 
Beaur^ard suggested that a system of bell-ringing be used 

' The same saluting on both sides distinguished the 22d of February, 1861 . 
Castle Pinckney opened early with a salute of thirteen guns, and at noon the 
guns of Sumter fired a national salute. (Oenems of the Civil War^ Crawf«>rd.) 


throughout the fort to oommunicate the alami from the look- 
out sentinel on the wall or in the breach to the commanders of 
detachments in the bombproof quarters of the garrison. The 
plan ordered was executed without delay^ and from four points 
on 4he crest of the ruins the signal of danger could be trans- 
mitted by the sentinel or his officer touching a bell-pull. This 
at once rang the alarm in the soldiers^ quarters down below in 
the cavernous recesses of gallery and casemate, otherwise only to 
be reached with a delay that might have proved fatal. The sys- 
tem was maintained in perfect working order from this time in 
February to the end of the defense in the same month of the 
following year. It was a mode of alarm as startling as it wa<! 
complete, and few of the surviving defenders of Fort Sumter 
in those long watches of the night will be apt to forget the use 
of those bells, with the turning-out of the garrison to meet a 
threatened assault. 

The spring of 1864 began with a minor bombardment, the 
fourth of its class. The 15th day of March was signalized by a 
battering fire of 143 shots directed at the east angle of the fort ; 
and this was the occasion of it : The three armed casemates in 
this quarter were but poorly protected by their scarp-wall, it 
having been much damaged in places by both the land and the 
naval fire. The wall had been strengthened during the winter 
by a cribwork or grillage on the exterior, ballasted w^ith debris 
and adding ten feet to its thickness. The material used for the 
lower coursing was pine timber ; for the upper, including the 
embrasures, palmetto.^ This work had been prosecuted with as 
much secrecy as possible, owing to the fact of its being discov- 
erable by the monitors in their most advanced position off the 
eastern angle. It had no sooner been finished than the discovery 
was made. The reconnoitring monitor signalled to the batteries 
of Morris Island, and they opened with their heavy rifles a slant 
fire upon the extreme right of the stracture, where it was built 
up highest after the manner of a flanking traverse. But, 
although they splintered and partly demolished it, they did no 
real dams^ to the main work, which the traverse was designed 

> Iron plating h#d been applied for, bat the Navy Department declined to 
famish it. 


to protect.* An excellent view of this cribwork is presented 
among the illustrations, showing the splintered and the unhurt 
parts. It remained in good serviceable condition till the last.. 
In the foreground, on the left, may be seen the wires and iron 
girders used for fence-posts to carry the wires by way of obstacles 
and entanglements to an assaulting enemy. The masses and 
piles of broken masonry at the water's edge attest the serioas 
demolition of the fort. 

Advantage was taken of the comparative quiet at this season 
to effect at least three important improvements: 

1. The ventilation of the casemates of the " three-gun bat- 
tery," just mentioned, had hitherto been too free for comfort during 
times of heavy mortar-shelling. It was now, by a covering of 
stout timber framing and sufficient sand, made to be thoroughly 
bombproof. The great sand counterfort, or parados, covering 
these casemates from fire in reverse, was raised ten feet higher, so 
as to protect both the ventilator and the open arches of the second 
tier of casemates. The battery, in this state protected in front, in 
rear, and overhead, remained intact and unchanged to the end. 

2. The casemates on the city front, next to the north-western 
angle and the new sally-port, had once been the resort of too 
many shells from the land and naval guns. In consequenc^e, 
they became disused and their guns dismounted, and were 
thoroughfares much littered and encumbered with nibbish. But 
in honorable exception to the casemates of this vicinity that one 
on the pan-coupSy or truncated angle, was occupied by an in- 
domitable old smoothbore 32-pounder. This gun had served 
faithfully through all the fort's ordeals, being known as the 
" evening gun," and being fired to salute the flag when it was 
lowered every evening at sun-down. It was for seven or eight 
months the only gun fired in the fort. Its report after sunset on 
calm evenings would be caught up by the echoing shores of the 

* It was (luring this firing that some alarm was felt for the safety of the ser- 
vice-magazine in this quarter. Smoke seemed to be coming forth from its 
entrance after the explosion of a shell on the outside ; and the order was given 
to John H. Houston, a foreman of the Engineer department, to take twelve 
men with him and remove the powder ; which he did with as cool daring as 
was ever recorded in war. His services and promotion have been already 
noticed in Chapter IX. 


inner harbor and mellowed in the distance, with somewhat of 
the sentiment of its own isolation, endurance, and fortitude. 
In the clearing up and rearranging of this quarter of the fort, 
made necessary by the explosion and burning of the 11th of 
December, it was decided to protect and arm these casemates in 
the vicinity of the ** evening gun ;" for it was found that with 
three heavy guns mounted in them a sectiort of the harbor could 
be covered that wa.s not entirely commanded by either Battery 
Bee on Sullivan's Island or by Fort Johnson on James Island. 
Accordingly, the " evening gun " gave place to a banded and 
rifled 42-pounder ; another, of the same calibre, was mounted 
next on the left ; while in the casemate next south of the sally- 
port a double-banded and rifled 8-inch columbiad was duly in- 
stalled. These armed casemates were also ventilated, as well as 
prota*ted, by a covering mass of heavy earthwork on the side of 
the parade or interior of the fort. Since there were at this time 
two distinct batteries of three guns each, the old one was hence- 
forth called the " East Batter}^" and the new one the " West 
Battery." This latter was completed on the 12th of February. 
3. The condition of the parade at one time threatened very 
seriously the health of the post. Reduced by the excavations 
to a level three feet below high-water mark, it began to collect 
in some of its pits stagnant and offensive water.* The drainage 
necessary for sanitiiry purposes was obtained by sinking a shal- 
low well in the north-western region of the parade, by directing 
the water of the area through two cross-drains into the well, and 
drawing out thence, by a pump which emptied through a con- 
venient embrasure into the harbor, all the superfluous or stagnant 
water in the interior of the fort. These measures were found 
corrective of the evil ; and they were further made effectual by 
gradually filling up the parade to within two and a half feet of 
its former level. 

The months of March and April passed with very few inci- 
dents at the fort. Besides the one day's firing (15th of March) 
already described, there was one entire night (3d of April) of 

* Whether from this cause or the crowded quarters, after the explosion and 
fire in December the garrison was threatened with an epidemic of cerebro- 
spinal meningitis dnring the winter of 1863-64. 


heavy mortar-shelling, and then, later, at the close of April, 
several days were distinguished by a novel di^harge of mortars, 
eight or ten in number, firing in volleys, all together, at irreg- 
ular inter\'als, and with considerable annoyance to the garrison.* 
This peculiar form of sharp practice was continued into the 
month of May. By this time the important operations around 
Petersburg and Richmond were reducing the Confederate army 
of Northern Virginia. Already, on the 20th of April, General 
Beauregard had been called away to assist General Lee in front 
of Petersburg — a service rendered with brilliancy more distin- 
guished than history has yet acknowledged. He resigned the 
cH)mmand of the department of South Carolina, Georgia, and 
Florida to Major-General Sam Jones, a meritorious oflBoer of 
the armies of Virginia and Tennessee. New officers and troops 
were daily required for the same field around the Confederate 
Capital, and the commander of Fort Sumter, himself promoted 
to the full colonelcy of an infantry raiment near Petersburg, 
and soon after made brigadier-general, was relieved on the night 
of May 4, 1864, by Captain John C. Mitchel of the First South 
Carolina Artillery. 

Colonel Elliott had thus performed eight months of arduous 
service at the post of honor in the entrance of Charleston har- 
bor. He found it a dismantled and silenced fort, a ruined habi- 
tation, an exposed outpost, a perilous command. He left it a 
formidable earthwork, armed with six heavy guns and furnish- 
ing comfortable quarters for three hundi'ed men — an outpost 
still, and much exposed to assault as well as bombardment, but 
with a proud record of endurance, a long list of brave defenders, 
and his own name carved liigh on its invincible front Inside 
the harbor preparations of resistance were wellnigh complete: 
the fortifications perfected by Beauregard and his chief engineer, 
Colonel Harris, the artillery and garrisons disposed and prac- 

' On the 13th of April, during some practice between the Federal batteries 
on Cuniming's Point nnd the Confederate works on James Island, a promising 
young member of the Signal Corps, Joseph P. Huger, was looking on from 
the most conspicuous part of the fort, the south-western angle, and thought- 
lessly waved his cap when the Confederate gunners made a hit. The action 
instantly drew uj)on liim the fire of a 30-pounder Parrot rifle from Cumming's 
Point; the shell exploded with great precision and took off his heid. 


tised by Brigadier-Greneral Ripley and Colonel Rhett, were with- 
out exaggeration models of sea-coast defense, and, for their day, 
the finest in the world. So must have thought the enemy ; for 
the Federal commanders of both land and naval forces were 
now hesitating what plan of attack they should next adopt, and 
even at Washington the heads of departments appeared to I)e 
altogether baffled and disconcerted by their want of su««ss 
before the strongholds of Charleston. {Memoir of Rear-AdminU 
Dahlffren, pages 431, 436, 443.) 

Joint RewltUion of Thanks to General Beauregard and the Officers and Men 
of his Command for their Defense of Charleston, S. C. 

Resohed by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the 
thanks of Congress are eminently due, and are hereby cordially tendered, 
to General 6. T. Beauregard and the officers and men of his command 
for their gallant and successful defense of the city of Charleston, S. C. — ^a 
defense which, for the skill, heroism, and tenacity displayed by the de- 
fenders during an attack scarcely paralleled in warfare, whether we 
consider the persistent efforts of the enemy, or his almost boundless 
resources in the most approved and formidable artillery and the most 
powerful engines of war hitherto known, is justly entitled to be pro- 
nounced glorious by impartial history and an admiring country. 

Hesolvedy That the President be requested to communicate the fore- 
going resolution to General Beauregard and the officers and men of his 

Approved February 8, 1864. 

rrUa wtt a oew one, lubsiltuted for the flag of the 20th of January, and torn as above In 
four days' use. It was flown at the eavtern angle of the gorge) 



May 4 July 20, 1864. 

The New Commander of Fort Sumter, Captain MiTt*H el—General 
GiLLMORB Transferred TO Virginia — Rear-Admiral Dahlgren's 
Second Council of War adverse to Attack— Sixth Minor Bom- 
bardment — Fort Moultrie Disables a Monitok — General Foster 
src*CEEDS General Gillmore — Flagstaff replaced with Great 
Exposure— Seventh Minor Bombardment— General Fostkr's 
Projkci' of Combined Operations against Charleston— Skirmish 
on Jamics Island — Attack in Barges on Fort Johnson quickly 
Repulsed— Skirmish on John's Island — The Monitors in Stono 
threaten Ba'itery Pringle— Confedkrates concentrate on 
John's Island— Successful Attack upon the Union Istrenciied 
Position, followed by Complete Abandonment of the Island- 
Third Grjcat Bombardment opens July 7th— Small Wokking- 
force in Sumter unable to repair Damagi-is at the Fort— Men 
AND Material Required and Furnished Immediately — Captain 
Mitchel, commanding Fort Sumtkr, mortally Wounded on the 
Fourteenth Day— Resistance of the Fort stubbornly Main- 

The new commander of Fort Sumter was Captain John C. 
Mitchel. A son of the Irish patriot and exile, he had shared 
with his father the life in Australia and with him escaped to 
America. Soon after arriving in the Southern States he learned 
of the approaching hostilities, and, repairing to South Carolina, 
was commissioned lieutenant by Governor Pickens in the r^ular 
artillery of the State service. His first duty was in Fort Moul- 
trie, under Lieutenant-Colonel (afterward Brigadier-General) 
R. S. Ripley, assisting in the reduction of Fort Sumter, April 
12 and 13, 1861. As captain in the First Regiment South 
Carolina Artillery (regulars) he took part in the capture of the 



Federal gimboat Isaac Smith in the Stono River, and later was 
in command of the works on the southern end of Morris Island 
when the Federal army and navy combined to capture them. 
He had become worthily distinguished in the military districrt, 
and the choice was generally regarded as promising well for the 
growing honor of the post. Captain Mitchel was only in his 
twenty-fifth year at this date. His promotion to a majority had 
been warmly recommended and was daily expected. 

Meanwhile, there had been a change of commanders cm the 
Federal side also. About the 1st of May, Major-General Q. A. 
Gillmore, after ten months^ active service, turned over the opera- 
tions on Morris Island to his subordinates, Brigadier-General 
J. P. Hatch and Brigadier-Greneral A. Schimmelfennig, and 
went North, taking with him troops from this department to a 
more active theatre of war. But the naval force appears to 
have not been reduced ; the iron-clad squadron of eight vessels 
was " in good fighting order," and the rear-admiral evinced some 
disposition to renew the attack. Yet being undecided as to the 
l)lan and magnitude of the movement, he convened the captains 
of his armored vessels on the 10th and 12th of May to consider 
the question : " Is it advisable to attack Sumter and reduce its 
iwwer, offensive and defeasive, with the present force of seven 
monitors and the Ironsides, having reference to all the questions 
involved?" The vote given was seven in the negative to two 
in the affirmative, and the admiral soon after informed the De- 
partment in Washington " that a council of war decided against 
attacking even the remnant of Sumter." * What could have 
been so formidable in Sumter at this date is hard to conjecture. 
Yet this decision was the same as that of a previous council held 
in the fleet October 22d of the year before.' 

A feeble demonstration only came out of the admiral's aggres- 
sive temper at this period. On the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th 
he sent in two monitors each day to take position off the sea- 
face of the fort, while the land-batteries on Morris Island com- 
bined with them in cannonading the work. The fire was kept 
lip at night with the lighter rifles and the mortars, a total of 
1140 shots being discharged in the four days, and the casualties 

' 3/oiioira, Dalilgren, pages 4^, 454. * /6., page 419, 


amounting to 1 killed and 4 wounded. This may be called the 
sixth minor bombardment. 

Its effects were confined to the eastern or sea-face, and amount- 
ed to some weakening of that quarter, but to no extenfbeyond 
repair. Two arched passages adjoining the stair-tower in the 
eastern angle were required to be filled up entirely to prevent 
their being breached. One of them had been used as head- 
quarters during the crowding of the garrison in the previous 
December, and was then protected on the interior, or parade 
side, by the loopholed blindage of logs shown in the view of 
that locality (page 181). 

But the leading feature of this minor bombardment was the 
stop put to the monitors by the very effective fire from the bat- 
teries of Sullivan's Island. This was altogether done in less 
than an hour on the fourth day by the timely unmasking of 
some heavy guns kept in reserve at Battery Bee until that mo- 
ment. The surprise and chagrin of the Federals were ver}' 
noticeable, as they had been having an easy time during the 
previous days. They retired, making signals with the admi- 
ral in the most animated manner ; one of the monitors having 
the conical roof of the pilot-house so wrecked and lifted as lo 
present the appearance of a damaged umbrella on a stormy 
day. Other injuries must have been inflicted, as the practice 
of the batteries was remarkably exact. This was the last occa- 
sion of any fire from the monitors upon Fort Sumter, and, in 
fact, the last fire of any kind they permitted themselves to 
receive at the hands of the harbor-batteries.^ 

About this time operations were resumed, rather timidly, by 
the Union army on the coast. With the purpose of cutting 
the Charleston and Savannah Railroad where it crossed the 
Ashepoo River, Brigadier-Grcneral Birney embarked sixteen 
hundred men, mostly colored troops, on three transports, and 
obtained some gunboats from the admiral to make diversion 

* Judge Cowley {Afloat and Ashore) says: "Tlie Inst shot at the naval branch 
of the Riepe was fired from a rifled gun in Moultrie at tlie Cnnonicus on the 
4th of February, 18G5. The projectile was an 8-inch shell, and struck the 
ship just abaft the smokestack, exploding on the impact, but doing no other 
harm than cutting away a boat-davit." 


for him up the Pon-Pon (or Edisto) River. The expedition 
occupied two days, May 23d-24th, and terminated in faihire, 
witli the entire loss of the finest transport, the Boston. This 
vessel got aground in the Ashepoo, and, being fired on by Earle's 
Confederate battery, was abandoned in panicstrieken haste by 
her troops, and set on fire by order of the general, sacrifieing 
the lives of sixty horses by this act of desperation. 

Toward the end of May three or more attempts were made 
bv small boats at night to reconnoitre the waters of the harbor 
between Fort Sumter and Fort Johnson ; whether to examine 
the shallow soundings there or to search for the submarine cable 
of the telegraph, and cut it, could not be determined. The boats 
were discovered off the south-western angle of Fort Sumter 
on three several occasions; and once, when fired on, they 
returned the fire with their howitzers, sending a few harmless 
shells high over the fort. 

General Gillmore^s actual successor proved to be Major-Gen- 
eral J. G. Faster, formerly the captain of Engineers in charge 
of Fort Sumter under Major Anderson, sent now to reclaim, if 
posfiible, for his Government the prize it had lost three years 
before. He arrived at Port Royal on the 26th of May, 1864, 
and immediately conferred with Rear-Admiral Dahlgren con- 
cerning their future operations.* 

An important reduction in the naval force occurred early in 
June. This was the departure from the blockading fleet of the 
iron-clad frigate New Ironsides. She had been on the station 
off Charleston since April, 1863, and left finally on the 6th of 
June for the North. Ever since the attempt, made in October, 
eight months previous, to destroy her with a torpedo by Cap- 
tain Glassel of the Confederate navy, great care had been taken 
to protect the ship against such another danger. The injuries, 
at first thought to be slight, developed in time and caused her 
withdrawal from the fleet.* There remained of the armored 

' General Foster was a nntive of New Hamj^hire, graduated at West Point 
in the Engineer corpe 1846, was engaged as brigadier-general of volunteers in 
the capture of Newberne, N. C. He was subsequently brevetted a brigadier- 
general in the amij and major-general of volunteers. He died in 1874. 

' Mem. Dahlgren f page 426. See also Appendix B, under the head of " New 


vessels seven moDitors, two of which were out of order. The 
rear-admiral writes in his diary at this date that there were /our 
iron-clad gunboats op|X)sed to him within the harbor of Charles- 
ton. In this he was mistaken, as only three, the Chioora, Pal- 
metto State, and Charleston, were ever in actual service : two or 
three others were under construction at later dates. (See Chap- 
ter I., page 34.) 

An instance of great coolness and bravery occurred at Fort 
Sumter on the 20th of June. The flagstaff had been cut so 
often by the expert artillerists of Morris Island that a new one 
had been placed on the crest of the gorge, nearly at its centre 
and about ten feet above the large bombproof in that quarter. 
The new staff attracted attention, and, after receiving the com- 
pliments of two or three shells from the sharpshooting 30- 
pounder rifles, it shared the fate of its predecessors. The stump 
remained fast in the crest of the gorge-wall, while the splintered 
spar, bearing the flag, was thrown downward upon the top of the 
" bombproof." In such (uses the orders provided that the ser- 
geant of the guard should immediately plant a small battle-flag 
in the place of the fallen ailors. But some little delay occurring, 
the state of things was observed by Lieutenant Charles H. Clai- 
bourne, of the First South Carolina (regular) Infantry, who 
made for the sp6t and mounted the ladder with the colors in 
his hand. Here, in full-length view of the enemy, he b^an to 
lash the two parts of the spar together with the halyards, while 
the enemy, seeing the action, b^an firing as rapidly as the two 
cannon could be served. 

At this critical moment the ropes, blown about by a high 
wind, became entangled, and the spectators below were fearing 
to see the brave officer's life sacrifi(x?d by the delay. But two 
generous and high-spirited men of the Engineer department 
instantly sprang to the aid of the lieutenant. One, Sergamt 
N. F. Devereux, mounted the wall and assisted him in tlio 
lashings, while the other, Corporal B. Brannon,* sitting on the 
top of the ladder, held the slack of the halyards until the work 
was suocessfnlly achieved. Five or six shells burst close over- 
head and about their feet or flew past them, but no hurt was 
' Detailed from Eighteenth South Carolina volunteers, Companv G. 



received. The aim of the skilled gunners may have been dis- 
turbed by their extreme haste, but the exploding of the shells 
was not equally under their control, and the preservation of 
life, due to a higher Power, was remarkably impressive. The 
actors in this scene were heartily congratulated by Captain 
Mitchel and others who awaited their descent, and they were, 
besides, honorably mentioned in department general orders. 
Among the many like instances at Fort Sumter this case was 
a>n8picuous on account of the greatest and longest exposure of 

The flag was again cut down on the 24th and 27th, and re- 
placed without much risk. But on the 26th of June it was 
restored under circumstances very like those above narrated, the 
actors being Privates Walter Steele, Gist Guard, and D. E. 
Badger, Company I, Twenty-seventh South Carolina volun- 
teers. They were also commended by name in department 
general orders. 

During the next six or seven days the firing upon Fort Sum- 
ter was increased to the extent of another minor bombardment 
— the seventh — being sustained with mortars and the occasional 
service of the 300-pounder rifle from May 30th to June 6th. 
Four casualties occurred, but the fort suffered no damage. 

The Federal commanders were consulting about this time as 
to their new plans of combined attack. Once they discussed a 
project of threatening James Island with the naval force on the 
Stono River, and at the same time seizing a position on the 
main land to the rear of Sullivan's Island. This was proposed 
by the admiral, but opposed by the general. Then, it appears, 
an expedition against Darien on the coast of Greorgia was aln^ast 
determined on, but soon abandoned. A third enterprise was to 
cut the Charleston and Savannah Railroad near the Ashepoo 
River, and then attack in force between Port Royal and Savan- 
nah. This too came to nothing. Finally, a concerted move- 
ment of some magnitude, having for its object the caplure of 
Fort Johnson and Battery Simkins on the James Island shore 
of the harbor of Charleston, was planned and adopted. While 
the fort and battery were to be assaulted, demonstrations were to 
be made on James Island, John's Island, and the railroad b^ 


tween Charleston and Savannah. With abundant transportation 
and the powerful support of the navy, Major-General Foster iiad 
at length resolved on a very serious attempt on Charleston itself. 
The position of Fort Johnson and its adjoining works was on 
the southern shore of the harbor, which, if occupied by the 
Union army, would give it at once the key to the whole mili- 
tary situation. 

Accordingly, steps were taken in the end of June to organize 
the plan in five parts. To the navy was assigned the duty of 
eugaging, with two monitors and some gunboats, the heavy bat- 
tery known as " Pringle," which, in advance of old Fort Pem- 
berton, had been built to dispute the Stono against the armored 
vessels. It occupied the right of the new and powerful lines 
built by order of General Beaur^ard before he left the depart- 
ment. The rear-admiral was expected in this way to lend his 
strong support to two columns of troops, one operating on John's 
Island with 6000 men, under Brigadier-Generals J. P. Hatch 
and R. Saxton, the other moving on James Island with about 
2500 men, under Brigadier-General A. Schimmelfennig, who 
was also charged with preparing the attack on Fort Johnson. 
The expedition by North Edisto to cut the Charleston and 
Savannah Railroad was intrusted to Brigadier-General W. 
Biniey. Thus the whole project was of greater importance 
than any operation on the coast since the siege of Battery 
Wagner in the previous year. 

The movements began with the advance of troops on the 
southern point of James Island early on the morning of the 
2d of July. They were under Colonel William Heine, One- 
Hundred-and-Third New York volunteers, and had been drawn 
from Morris and Folly Islands for the purpose of weakening 
the garrison of Fort Johnscm by this diversion. They were met 
at Rivers's Causeway with a determined resistance by a small 
force of infantr}' pickets under Major Edward Manigault of the 
riege-train, supported by a section of Blake's light battery, under 
Lieutenant T. M. DeLorme, and held in check obstinately for 
nearly an hour ; but by outflanking the guns before reinforce- 
ments arrived thev succeeded in capturing them; then, ad- 


vancing toward the lines^ they intrenched themselves at a safe 
distance in their front. This movement found the Confederates 
so weak on James Island that Brigadier-General Taliaferro could 
not attack, but was forced to do what the enemy desired — with- 
draw a hundi-ed men from Fort Johnson and wait for reinforce- 
ments. To strengthen him a naval brigade from the harbor 
under Lieutenant W. G. Dozier volunteered, and even the fire 
department of the city was sent for and temporarily employed 
on the lines. 

While the defenders of James Island were thus called away 
from the real point of attack on the harbor of Charleston, prep- 
arations for it were made at Morris Island by embarking troops 
in barges on the night of the same day. These, from the com- 
mand of General Schimmelfennig, were the Fiftj^-second Penn- 
sylvania volunteer infantiy. Colonel H. M. Hoji;, and the One- 
Hundred-and-Twenty-seventh New York volunteer infantry, 
Major E. H. Little, together with sixty men of the Third Rhode 
Island Artillery — ^a total of nearly 1000 men under command 
of Colonel William Gurney of the One-Hundred-and-Twenty- 
seventh New York regiment. 

Operating in the narrow, tortuous channels and the shallow 
waters of this approach to the harbor, their success depended 
very much on the closest concert of action, and especially on 
taking advantage of the time of high water. A delay of two 
hours gave the expedition a bad start. It was near daylight 
before the boats, obliged to make a circuitous approach to the 
attack, were in the right position to advance and land the troops. 
They had been ordered to proceed well within the harbor, and 
when north of the beach between Fort Johnson and Batten^ 
Simkins to " move by the left flank, pull vigorously to land, and 
assault with the bayonet." Some of the boats got aground, 
and were not up with the main body when day began to break 
and the alarm was given at Fort Johnson. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph A. Yates, of the First South Caro- 
lina Artillery (r^ulars), was in command of the post, with a 
garrison reduced the day before by the withdrawal of a hundred 
men. He had a hundred left sleeping at the guns of Fort John- 
son, and thirty more doing picket-duty at Shell Point, the site 



oi* Battery Simkins, distant in advance south-easterly eleven 
hundred yards, at the extremity of a low, narrow sand-spit. 
The main power of Fort Johnson was in its water-battery of 
seven heavy guns, bearing only on the harbor and entirely un- 




fitted to take part in such a defense as was now required. But 
on the flank about to be attacked were some unfinished parapets 
for infantry and positions for light artillery. Two 30-pounder 
Parrott rifles, together with some field-pieces, were mounted 


there, and with these fire was opened on the advancing barges. 
Although suffering little from this fire, the barges were thrown 
into great confusion, and it is doubtful whether more than half 
of them really landed their troops. It appears that only the 
boats commanded by Colonel H. M. Hoyt, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Conyngham, Captain Camp, Lieutenant Stevens, and Lieutenant 
Evans, all of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania, and most of the 
Rh(xle Island artillerists, the boats commanded by Captain 
Henry and Lieutenants Little and Abercrombie, all of the 
One-Hundred-and-Twenty-seventh New York raiment, were 
brought to shore. The rest wavered and fled. Colonel Hovt 
and his men, to what number at that moment is uncertain, 
moved bravely to the assault of Fort Johnson, having cut off 
Lieutenant E. Lowndes, in cominand of the pickets at Battery 

But by this time the Confederate fire of infantry, as well 
as artillery from Colonel Yates's little garrison, was beginning 
to tell on the advance. The fire of the pickets under Lieuten- 
ant Lowndes was opened on their rear, adding to the confusion. 
Their desertion by their friends was soon after discovered, and, 
although some of their number gained the parapet and fought 
hand to hand, it was not long before they surrendered. 

A large number of those who had landed, however, escaped 
to their boats and joined their comrades, already retreating on 
the water. The results were, that 140 Federals, including Col- 
onel Hoyt and five commissioned officers, were made prisoners, 
five or six barges were captured or destroyed, and the casualties in 
the assault were 7 killed and 16 wounded.^ To these must have 
been addi^ others occurring on the water or concealed by removal 
to the boats in the act of retreating. The defenders lost 1 killed 
and 3 wounded in the affair. But the embarrassment with the 
Confederates was that they were now outnumbered by their 
prisoners. Lieutenant-Colonel Yatfes had to order them into 
his bombproof quarters and fortify himself against their sud- 
den rising. He had more Federals than Confederates in Fort 
Johnson until the arrival from Charleston of the Citadel Cadets, 
sent in the emergency to act as a guard for him. 

* Accoixiing to general oitler No- 163, Hilton Head, November 7, 1$64. 


Aa.*ordiitg to the report of Brigadier-General Taliaferro, the 
participants in tliis brilliant affair were Company G, First South 
Carolina Artillery, Lieutenant T. D. Waties ; Company K, of 
same regiment. Captain Alfred S. Gaillard ; detachments of Com- 
pany E, Lieutenant R. L. Cooper, and of Companies A and E, 
Second South Carolina Artillery, Lieutenants M. P. Hals^y and 
G. F. Ra worth. A company of infantry sent to reinforce the 
fort and a force of sailors from the armored rams in the har- 
bor are mentioned as having arrived during the action. It 
has been claimed that the '^ naval brigade," under Lieutenant 
Dozier, took the chief part in this fight, but the authority has 
not been given. The brigade did excellent work in the other 
operations on James Island, particularly on the Stono River ; 
and its valuable services were acknowledged with compli- 
nientaiy mention by Major-General Sam Jones, commanding 
the department. 

The escaping boats, seen in broad daylight quite distinctly 
from Fort Sumter, drew on themselves the fire of heavy guns 
from Battery Cheves on the eastern shore of James Island, 
and even at long range from the works on Sullivan's Island. 
Their retreat was extremely hurried while they disappeared up 
Schooner Creek toward their landing on Morris Island. For a 
blow aimed skillfully at an important placed and amounting to a 
surprise in point of numl)ers, it was delivered with utter feeble- 
ness. For a plan well conceived and arranged it was attended 
with entire failure. Censure was officially passed upon the offi- 
cers and men who had misWiaved, the commander not escaping 
for his neglect to accompany the expedition or even to inform 
his second in command, Colonel Hoyt, of the fact. On the 
other hand, the vigilance of the Confederates under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Yates, their spirited defense and complete success, were 
fitly complimented by Major-General Jones, commanding. They 
had thwarted an attempt which came very near deciding the 
fate of Charleston. (Spe reports. Southern Historical Socidy^a 
Papers, vol. ii.) 

But this discomfiture on the 3d did not terminate the opera- 
tions of Major-General Foster. Directing the movement on 
John's Island^ he land^ that same morning at three points 


witli as many columns converging toward the Stono, 80 as to 
gain a position on the right flank, and even to the rear, of the 
James Island lines. His advance was observed on the 3d and 
5th by Major John Jenkins, commanding a small force of cav- 
alry, with artillery under Captain E. L. Parker, subsequently 
reinforced by some companies of r^ilar infantry from Geor- 
gia, under Major R. A, Wayne. But for the gallant resist- 
ance of these the artillery might have been captured. Major 
Jenkins then attacked the rciir of their column, marching up 
the Stono road, at Huntscum's Corner, but hearing of their 
progress in spite of the cavalry left in their front, he counter- 
marched eleven miles in haste, and took position to dispute the 
way at Grimbairs Waterloo Place, in the northern part of the 
island and alx>ut a mile from the Stono River. 

While this was passing the Federals on James Island were 
forced back to the southern end by order of Brigadier-General 
Taliaferro ; the naval fire from the Stono upon Battery Pringle 
and the lines being maintained with vigor " unremittingly for 
eight days and nights." {Report of Brigadier- Gej^eral TaHa- 

The expedition under Brigadier-General Bimey, moving up 
the North Edisto to cut the railroad, had completely failed after 
landing at White Point and meeting some opposition from cav- 
alry and artillery at King's Creek, l^elow Adam's Run. Hastily 
withdrawn, these troops passed over to John's Island, w^here 
they took part in larger operations. 

The Stono batteries on James Island, commanded by Major 
J. J. Lucas, were kept busily employed with the monitors, gun- 
and mortar-boats. Battery Pringle lost the temporary use of 
some guns, but the hard-worked garrison was relieved by fresh 
artillerists from the forts of the harbor under Major O. Bland- 
ing, bringing with them a favorite Brooke rifle, which soon told 
on the distant boats and obliged them to shift their station. As 
a last resort, the Federals sent up stream on the night of the 
9th, with the tide, three fire-rafts for the purpose of destroying 
the unfinished bridge across the Stono intended to connect James 
with John's Island ; but the rafts were arrested and the danger 
averted by the prompt assistance of a detachment from the naval 



battalion under Lieutenant W. G. Dozier, who took to the water, 
b<:)arded the rafts, and brought them to the shore.* 

On John's Island, at the Waterloo Plac^, the fighting was 
resumed on the 7th, and became more serious than anywhere 

g.tO'Ckfmmtmit «« 

t.4tIW. Otnu WbdAimtUL 

} 9t . A 

t.g . ^ /Ui(*mt^ 

[The Confederate lines of James Island rested on the Stono Kiier at Fort Pringle and 
Battery Tynes.] 

else. The Federal force under Brigadier-General Hatch con- 
sisted of 5000 infantry, 100 cavalry, and two sections of artil- 
lery at this time. The forenoon was occupied with a sharp 
engagement between the artillery of both sides, Parker^s and 
Charles's batteries distingiiishing themselves for excellent prac- 
ti<*e, and the aftern(M)u with a flank movement of the Federals. 
This threatened at first to be successful, but, being bravely and 
stubbornly resisted by Major R. A. Wayne, commanding the 
First Georgia regulars, and some detachments of the Second 
South Carolina Cavalry, under Captains T. H. Clark and A. H. 
Dean, and by the light batteries of Walter, Charles, and Parker, 
it failed in its piirpose.* At length, by order of Brigadier-Gen- 
eral B. H. Robertson, who had been sent by Major-General 

* The officers at the Stono batteries, under Majors Lucas and Blanding, were 
Captains T. B. Hayne and J. G. Richardson of Lucas's battulion ; J. M. Rhett 
and McM. King of First South Carolina Artillery; Lieutenants W. G; Ogier, 
W. D. Martin, W. W. Revely, T. E. Lucas, and J. D. Ford of Lucas's bat- 
talion; and H. M. Stuart, First South Carolina Artillery. " Lieutenant Ogier 
ia particularly mentioned for his gallantry." (General Taliaferro's report in 

Scmlhem Historical Society's Papers, vol. iii.) 
* Major Jenkins mentions in his report that Captain Clark held his ground 

with 21 men, until 7 were killed and 6 wounded, being more than half his 



Jones to take command of the defense on John's Island, a 
general assault was made, early on the morning of the 9th, on 
the intrenched position of the Federals. From this position, 
dangerously menacing with enfilade the Confederate lines on 
James Island, the invaders were driven after some resistance. 
They fell back, rallied, and made a determined stand nearer to 
their gunboats, but the finishing blow had been given to their 
campaign. In this assault, while all did well — the artillery as 
above under Lieutenant-Colonel DelKemper, the cavalry' under 
Major Jolm Jenkins — it was the brigade of infantry from 
Georgia, the Thirty-second and Forty-seventh raiments and 
Bonaud's battalion, all under Colonel George P. Harrison of 
the Thirty-Second regiment, that won for itself special com- 
mendation for th^ dash and thoroughness of its work. The 
Union troops left John's Island that night. The forces of the 
army and navy were withdrawn from James Island and the 
Stono on the next day, and only one other attempt on the Con- 
federate works was made. 

This was to try again Battery Simkins on Shell Point, in 
advance of Fort Johnson. About 8.30 p. M. on the lOth of 
July, the first anniversary of the Federal descent on Morris 
Island, the work was heavily shelled and attacked by troops in 
small boats; but only three of these effected a landing, while 
the affair was speedily ended by small-arms and field-pieces of 
LcGardeur's battery from Louisiana. 

Thus the combinations of Major-General Foster for the cap- 
ture of Charleston by the way of Fort Johnson, though well 
conceived, were badly executed. Concerning the ten days' fight- 
ing and manoeuvring. Rear- Admiral Dahlgren expressed himself 
very plainly in his diary i\s having been " utterly disgusted." 
First, the attack on Fort Johnson failed ; then Birney's expe- 
dition up the North Edisto failed ; then the naval attack on 
Stono failed, with its connected demonstration on James Island. 
Finally, the movement on John's Island proved the greatest 
failure of all. Strange to say, Major-General Foster, afte:' 
planning so well, chose to accompany the column of Brigadier- 
General Birney instead of being nearer to the centre of action. 
* Second South Carolina and Fourth Georgia, 

• •••• 

• ••• 

Captain JOHN C. MITCH EL, First Regiment S. C. Artillery, 

Commanding Fort Sumter.— Killed July 20th, 1864. 

From a Photograph, 


(Davis.) The aggregate Union loss in all parts of the field was 
officially reported to have been 330. The Confederate loss on 
John's Island was 128, and on James Island 35 — a total of 163, 
only 17 of whom were killed. 

Although removed from Fort Sumter, this fighting on the 
adjacent islands, and particularly at Fort Johnson, involved the 
safety of the whole harbor, for it was imperilling the com- 
munications and threatening to turn or take in reverse all the 
principal fortifications of the Confederates. The land and naval 
forces of the attack were strong enough, but they were not pushed 
with the vigor that characterized the fighting on Morris Island. 
Had they been, they might have achieved in one" week what the 
toilsome and bloody campaign of Morris Island failed to accom- 
plish after twelve months — viz. the capture of Charleston. On 
the other hand, the Confederates, though thinly scattered over 
an extended coast deeply indented with navigable tideways, 
were ever on the alert, ever ready to contest the advance of their 
enemy, and did successfully repel all his attacks. This was done 
by the prompt concentration and placing of troops under Major- 
General Sara Jones, commanding the department, and by their 
admirable fighting under their respective commanders.^ 

Thus in the progress of the war Charleston had twice driven 
back the forces of the Federal navy under DuPont and Dahl- 
gren in 1863, and twice the forces of the Federal army under 
Benham in 1862 and Foster in 1864. The latter general was 
next to essay, with enormous expenditure of ammunition, the 
vain task of destroying Fort Sumter. 

The Third Great Bombardment. 

The garrison of Fort Sumter, now under Captain J. C. 
Mitt^hel, had been, for some months past, lulled into a feel- 
ing of security. True, the sixth and seventh minor borabard- 

* Major-General Jones, reporting to the War Office, says : " I am much 
indebted to Flag-Offirer J. R. Tucker for liis ready and efficient co-operation. 
Besides his vigilance in watching the approaches to the harbor, he placed at 
my disposal a naval battalion armed as infantry. Lieutenant Wm. G. Dozier, 
C. S. Navy, commanding, which served well and faithfully in the works on 
James Island; and he also reinforced Fort Johnson with a small detach- 


ments operated to disturb their equanimity, but they did not 
stop for a day the changes and improvements going on in the 
fort. These had progressed favorably from one point to another 
until the strengthening of the much-battered and reduced sea- 
face of the work came up for consideration. Just as it wa-s 
fairly begun with the building of cribwork filled with dAris, 
as (^lose under the interior crest of the wall as i)os.sible without 
reducing the height of the crest one inch by caving, and just 
when the engineers wanted to be undisturbed in this critical 
stage of their secret proceedings, the heavy fire of a fresh bom- 
bardment was suddenly opened on the morning of the 7th of 
July at five o'clock. 

The following extract from the report of Major-Greneral 
Foster at this date will serve to explain his plans and purposes: 

** Having become convinced that the enemy was strengthening them- 
selves in Fort Sumter and making arrangements for defense, I have con- 
cluded that it is necessary to more effectually demolish the walls of that 
fort. For this purpose I have ordered the bombardment to be renewed 
to-morrow morning, and all the guns to be so aimed as to breach the 
wall in a horizontal line on that part of the wall which is now standing 
vertical. As soon as a good cut is made through the wall, I shall float 
down against it and explode large torpedoes, until the wall is shaken 
down and the surrounding obstructions are entirely blown away. I 
shall continue this until the walls are demolished as far as possible. I 
am convinced that the fort can, after such a bombardment, be assaulted 
and taken by boat«, and that it can be held without any great loss of life. 
The only reasons in favor of taking it beyond its occupation by our 
troops are that it would afford a shelter or starting-point by which boat- 
expeditions can again attack Fort Johnson or Mount Pleasant. It now 
serves as a watch-tower to the enemy.'* 

Had a copy of this report fallen into the hands of the com- 
mander of Fort Sumter, it would have greatly surprised if not 
amused him. Of the only two asj)ec^ts of the fort visible from 
Morris Island, one, the gorge, presented nothing but a practicable 
slo}ie of debris to the water's edge, with not a foot of wall to be 
seen anywhere on it ; the other, the right flank, or " sea-face," 
as it was commonly called, showed amid the debris of its ex- 
terior slope the remains of its wall in irregular masses crumbled 
down to the level, and in places beneath the level, of the lower 


embrasures^ an average height above tide of perhaps five feet. 
How any breaching and cutting of the "wall" of the fort 
cauld be found necessary is matter of wonder. There would 
have been something more than wonder at the proposition, de- 
liberately announced, to shake down the walls and blow away 
the obstructions by exploding torpedoes near them. But Cap- 
tain Mitchel was spared the apprehension of such dangers. 

Nevertheless, the violence of the bombardment in the first 
weeks of its outbreak did astonish and even alarm him for the 
safety of the poet. The engineer in charge. Captain Johnson, 
shai-ed in some degree his anxiety, but only be(;ause the work- 
ing-force had been reduced for some time past below its proper 
limit and against his earnest protest. It was several days before 
a force sufficient to repair damages was raised, but as soon as 
labor was procured the defense fell into the composed routine of 
previous bombardments. Very great loss of material was to be 
differed, but with a hundred and fifty workmen and mechanics 
the anxieties of the situation were soon allayed. At first the 
fire, directed at the gorge, left its marks there in deep furrows, 
flattening the already practicable slope and wasting away much 
of its substance. Within a week the crest was breached in three 
places and reduced at one point, the gap previously mentioned, 
to a height of only twenty feet above the water ; a chamber of 
the abandoned magazine at the eastern end of the gorge was also 
breached ; and the l)oom, anchored off the south-eastern angle, 
wa< broken so as to show an opening of abotit twenty feet in width. 

Preijarations to repel assault were made with the utmost 
alacrity everj' evening as soon as it grew dark, wire-fencing 
and entanglements being placed on the sloi)e and the obstruc- 
tions being doubled at the breaches, while at the gap, where no 
foothold for the defenders could be provided, a bristling array 
of wooden pikes was made ready to receive the assailants who 
might venture to leap down into the parade of the fort. The 
breached chanil)er of the magazine was promptly filled, and, 
making a virtue of necessity, it added new strength and solidity 
to the gorge in that quarter. 

During this first week the most destructive work had been 
done by the 300-pounder rifle-gun, firing steadily every day 



upon the line of the gap in the gorge. The rifle-firing pre- 
dominated in the day, while the mortar-shelling predominated 
in the night. The average for the first week was a daily ex- 
penditure of three hundred shot and shell. On occasional days 
the Confederate batteries of James and Sullivan's Islands re- 
turned the fire with spirit and effect, causing it to slacken very 
jKjrceptibly upon Fort Sumter. But they could not expend 
ammunition lavishly enough to keep pace witli Major-Genoral 
Foster, and so they decideil to let him alone. At the close of 
ten da>s his direction of fire was changed from the eastern to 
the wt»stern end of the gorge, somewhat to the relief of the 
defenders, who had been anxiously watching the ravages of the 
large rifle on its fixed line of fire. 

The new firing was maintained with increasing vigor by the 
use of 200-pounder rifles and 13-inch mortars, the shells from 
the latter being observed to jar tlie remaining casemates of the 
western front very severely through a covering of seven feet. The 
average total of shots for twenty-four hours in the second \vcek 
was considerably higher than that in the first, being nearly five 
hundrcil. One other feature was the increasing risk from mortar- 
shelling incurred by the boats and barges used to ply l)etween 
the trans])orts and the wharf of the fort. They were not uiifre- 
quently sunk while landing at the wharf, >yith lo&s of life and 
material. The engineer made requisition for a nightly supply 
of one thousand bags of sand, so dei>endent had the fort become 
on material from without to repair the damages of each day. 
The casualties were becoming more frequent as the bombard- 
ment i>r()gressed, and up to the end of the sec^ond week they 
amounted to 6 killed and 26 wounded. 

Captain Mitchel, commanding the post, was unremitting in 
the discharge of all his arduous duties. Allowing himself but 
little sleep in the day-time, he was particularly alert to guard 
against assault by night, and the constant vigilance of this 
spiritcfl young officer became imparted to his whole garrison. 
Sentinels, straining their eyes from exposed points, were killed 
or wounded by the shelling while facing the more immediate 
danger of small boats approaching through the darkness to sur- 
prise the fort. In the day-time the sentinels were reduced to one 


or two for observation of the fleet and to keep the record of the 
ijhots fired. 

On the fourteenth day of the bombardment, being the 20th 
of July, 1864, Captain Mitchel ascended the stairway of the 
western angle of the gorge, about 1 o'clock P. M., to examine the 
movements of the fleet and land force of the enemy, preparatory 
to writing his daily report for transmission to the city by 
despatch-boat that night. Arriving at the head of the stairs 
and passing out upon the level of the original terreplein of the 
fort, he found the sentinel there at his post well protected by 
breast-high shelter within the massive parapet of earthwork 
necessar}^ to secure the safety of the stair-tower beneath it. 
Stationing himself near the spot, but not within the sentry- 
box, he rested his arm and glass on the parapet and began Iris 
observations. Before him, in the sea-view, were the low hulls 
of the monitors lying at anchor off* Morris Island, the wooden 
gunboats and blockaders resting also at their appointed stations 
outside the bar, and farther out, in the offing, a despatch-boat 
going North. No movement in .the fleet at all that day, except 
among the tugs and tenders. The sea was smooth, the sky 
bright, and the sun blazing with midsummer heat. Hot work 
in the Union batteries of Morris Island close by, their rifle- 
and mortar-shelling keeping their gunners as busy as they could 
be; hottest time of all at the battered ruin of a fort taking 
daily transformation into an indestructible earthwork. 

The commander was not unduly exposing himself, but while 
engaged with his glass a mortar-shell of the largest kind rose in 
the air, and, descending well to the westward of the fort, as if 
about to strike the wharf, burst at an altitude of some eighty 
feet above the water. The bursting of a mortar-shell so high 
in the air and somewhat outside of the walls was no more to 
the garrison than a matter of ordinar}' occurrence, scarcely notice- 
able in the climate of the fort. The commander continued his 
observation through it all, his eye fixed to the glass, until sud- 
denly struck to the ground by a large piece of the sliell, wound- 
ing him with great laceration on the left hip. Had he been in 
the sentry-box, he would have escaped all hurt., for that was pro- 
tected on the rear as well as front. 


The sentinel at once gave the alarm by calling at the head of 
the stairs, and was soon joined by one or two from the lower 
casemates. Lifted from the spot where he fell, pale and much 
weakened already by the loss of blood, the youthful commander 
was in perfect possession of his mental faculties arid spoke with 
calmness of his mortal wound.* It was a difficult task to bear 
his body, though of light weight, from the highest point in the 
fort down to the hospital. The only way was by the dark, nar- 
row, and winding staircase. Tender as the handling could be, 
the movement yet caused him the acutest pain. When laid on 
the surgeon's table in the hospital he required to be revived with 
stimulants. Later, as his suffering increased, anodynes were ad- 
ministered, but no surgery was attempted, as it was seen from 
the first that his wound would prove fatal. He lingered for 
nearly four hours, and expired about 5 P. M. 

The death of Captain John C. Mitchel, greatly deplored by 
the many friends he had made in his adopted country, was the 
closing of a brief career wliich gave promise of undoubted dis- 
tinction in military service. He commanded Fort Sumter for 
two months and sixteen days, passing through two weeks of its 
third and last grand bombardment. In that time the fears for its 
safety, which at first he felt, were completely dissipated. Injuries 
had been repaired, loss of material had been met with new supphes, 
and precautions against assault had been increased to perfection- 
Such was the confidence within, while this was the testimony 
from without the fort. Under date of July 21st the rear- 
admiral says in his Diary: "I went up in the Lcdiigh with 
General Foster to look at Sumter. He said he had not before 
had such a gmxl view of it. The north-east front still stands 
erect, and the work is nearly impregnable.'' 

* The Iii^h-stnmg spirit of the man and the pride of the soldier spoke out 
together in the unexi>ected but characteristic words addressed to the writer at 
lliis moment by h"s fallen comrade: *'They have killed me, captain, but I 
ought to have been a major, though." His promotion, so well deserved, hnd 
been higlily recommended, and was daily expected by him, but it was never 
received. One, when the pain overcame him and he groaned aloud, check- 
ing himself, he ](K)ked up, attempted to rise, and gave command that the men 
should not be allowed to pass and repass the hospital, as they were then doing. 
Later, on being asked what could be done for him, he replied, " Nothing, 
except to pray for me." 




July 20, 1864-February 1, 1865. 

Captain Huguenin succeeds to the Command of Fokt Sumtee— Firing 


FOR ITS Protection— Captain Johnson, Engineer in Charge, 
Wounded on the Twenty-first Day— Lieutenant White suc- 
ceeds Him — General Foster's Plan for Blowing up the Fort by 
MEANS of a Powder-raft— Complete Failure of the Attempt- 
Two other Attempts and Failures — General Foster's Device 
for Assault with Row-galleys, Towers, and Gang-planks- 
Firing Slackened — Work resumed on Fort Sumter's Defenses 
AND Accommodations — Third Great Bombardment ends on the 
Sixtieth Day— Eighth Minor Bombardment— Union Army and 
Navy called off to Co-operate w-ith General Sherman at 
Savannah — Confederate Victory of Honey Hill— Union Force 
MAKES Lodgment near Coosawhatchie — The Charleston and 
Savannah Railroad Threatened— Defensive Line of the Salke- 


BY Confederate Army under General Hardee— He Falls Back 
upon Charleston— General Sherman occupies Savannah and 
moves into South Carolina. 

The successor of the lamented Mitchel in the command of 
Fort Snniter was a young officer trained and graduated at tlie 
State Military Academy of South Carolina in the class of 1859 
—Captain Thomas A. Huguenin of the First South Carolina 
r^ilar infantr}% It has been told how this fine command^ 
under Colonel William Butler, serving as artillerists, had gar- 
risoned Fort Moultrie and the other heavy batteries of Sulli- 
van's Island, sharing largely in the defense of Charleston. In 
this active service Captain Huguenin had many advantages and 
opportunities for the display of those qualities which distin- 



guished him, and which seemed to fit him for a higher responsi- 
bility. He arrived at Fort Sumter and assumed command on 
the evening of the 20th of July, about three hours after his 
predecessor had breathed his last. He apixjared to be-saluted 
with a particularly heavy shelling by mortars. Two of the 
supply-barges were sunk at the wharf by the fire that night, 
and a partial relief of the muob-fatigned garrison was effected 
under great difficulties, but without any loss of life. 

The battering went on during the whole of the third week 
with heavy rifles, assisted by two freshly-mounted 10-inch colum- 
biads, probably of the old Confederate armament turned now 
against their former owners. The columbiads threw shells into 
the debris made by the rifles, serving to scatter and lose to the 
fort many tons of material from the exterior slope of the gorge. 
And for the fii^t time in the defense the stability of the western 
angle of the gorge began to be seriously threatened. The re- 
markable crack on the scarp-wall of the western or city front, 
near the postern and the western angle of the gorge, which made 
its appearance a few days after Gillmore's first bombardment 
began, reaching from the parapet down to the foundation of the 
fort, was observed at this }ieriod to be plainly widened. The 
determined aim of the breach ing-batteries upon this angle, ex- 
posed to them as it was only on its gorge side, and serving the 
defense the important purpose of masking the wharf and 
communications, could not be mistaken. Already it was be- 
coming reduced in mass of material and weakened by the open- 
ing of the extensive crack in its vicinity. All the chambers, 
casemates, and passages within the angle had been filled, and 
there remained no other way to further strengthen it than from 
without the fort. Accordingly, it was determined to raise a 
cribwork of heavy timbers, in four squares of ten feet each, 
from the base of the wall upward to at least the height of the 
lower embrasures. This work would necessarily close up the 
postern, but it was felt that this opening was no longer neces- 
sary, while the advantage of having a check and receptacle at 
the water's edge for the expected demolition of the western angle 
of the gorge was seen to be paramount. The work, entirely 
concealed from the enemy, was begun and prosecuted steadily 

''"It?:-. ' -^^^^^^^ * •*• - •• , 

• ' .-••-. ••"■••,• •( 
Captain THOMAS A. HUGUENIN, First Regiment S. C. Inf.inir>'. 
Commanding Fort Sumter 1864-65. 
From a Photograph. 


up to the level of the arches of the lower casemates, or some 
twelve feet above tide. About the time it reached this stage the 
fire of the enemy was happily slackened and its direction also 
changed. The crest of the gorge and its eastern angle were the 
next to suffer from the effects of the 300-pounder rifle and its 
smoothbore allies, the two 10-inch colnmbiads. Every day for 
a wet»k the whole of tiie night's work on the crest of this angle 
was completely swept away. It had been the position for a long 
time of a mountain-howitzer, placed there after dark to rake the 
slopes of the gorge in case of assault. It was found impossible 
to maintain a parapet there during the day, and accordingly 
resort was had to a temporary structure every night. 

It became evident that the fort was spared through all this 
time the particular direction of fire which would have been most 
destructive — viz. that upon the right flank or sea-face, where the 
protecting mass was lighter and lower than anywhere else in the 
work. Had the batteries been plied with the same vigor on this 
as on otlier quarters of the fort, the consequences would have 
been almost irreparable. Had even the. monitors cannonaded 
the fort on this flank every night, the effect might have been to 
cut down the lowest parts to the water's edge and uncover the 
parade to the eyes of the fleet. 

About an hour before daylight on the morning of the 28th 
of July, wliile he was inspecting some work on the eastern angle 
of the gorge, the engineer in charge, Captain John Johnson, was 
severely wounded by a fragment of mortaf-shell striking him 
on the top of the head. He had been on duty at the fort con- 
stantly since the 8th of November, being a period of eight 
months and twenty days. Lieutenant Ralph S. Izard succeeded 
him temporarily until the arrival of Lieutenant Edwin J. White 
of the Engineers on the night of the 30th of July. This officer 
had long been employed in the construction of heavy works around 
the harbor, had served frequently at Fort Sumter, and, brides 
being perfectly familiar with its plan, was known by the chief 
engineer. Colonel D. B. Harris, to be well qualified to perform 
the duties of the post. Lieutenant White remained in charge 
through this bombardment and till the end of the fort's Coq- * 
federate history. 


It was at this period of the bombardment that Major-General 
Foster made some essays in a novel mode of warfare. It was, 
as usual, with gunpowder, but with applications that woiild 
have been startling if they had not turned out disappointing. 
Impatient of the slow progress of demolition which he watched 
from day to day either at his batteries on Morris Island or on 
board of one of hLs reconnoitring monitors, he had conceived 
the design of floating powder-rafts by night close up to the fort 
and exploding them to the best advantage. In his despatch to 
Washington, dated July 12th, he wrote as follows: " I propose 
to make a breaching cut along the line of lower embrasures, and 
then shake the wall by explosions of large quantities of powder 
floated down against the fovt on rafts. I shall take these rafts 
up to-morrow morning." . Of equal interest is an extract from 

Rear- Admiral Dahlgren's Dkiry: ^^ July 21 It was 

agreed that the powder-raft should go up in the evening under 
charge of the Nahant. It was to be veered away when 1000 
yards fmm Sumter. As in all combined operations, things did 
not work well. At six I noticed that the powder was not in the 
raft, and sent an aide to see to it. And now the clouds that had 
been gathering came down in torrents, working in every direc- 
tion, and with fierce lightning So it poured till bedtime, 

and I know not how much longer. Between the mistake and 
the storm the raft did not start." 

It appears from the above that the plan was to tow a powder- 
raft, by one of the " monitors " into some proximity to the fort, 
on either the easteni or north-eastern front. But the general 
must have changed his mind as to the point of offense, and 
determined to start the explosive engines henceforth from the 
shore. Certainly, no second attempt was made until the even- 
ing of the 28th of July, and this was upon the south-western 
angle on the interior, or the harbor side of the fort, diametrically 
opposite the quarter first threatened. 

The commander of Fort Sumter, Captain Huguenin, relates 
that about 8.30 p. M. the alarm was given of the approach of 
some kind of flotilla from the direction of Fort Johnson. The 
ramparts were instantly manned, the sally-port closed, and an in- 
fantry fire opened from the walls upon some very dimly perceived 


objects on tlie water. Captain Huguenin himself repaired to 
the eastern or opposite angle of the gorge, judging that the real 
attack would be made in that direction, and that the observed 
movement was a feint Scarcely had he taken his position 
when an explosion occurred ofl* the western face of the fort. 
The noise was not great, but there was a display of light and 
smoke that suggested to his mind something quite serious. 
Hurrying to the spot, he found the troops, under Captain 
Phillips, unhurt, and no further sign of damage done than 
a liberal spattering of mud and sand upon the whai*f and 
western wall. 

The garrison was kept under arms the whole night, but no 
further alarm or disturbance occurred. When day dawned there 
was no discovery made to clear up the mystery, and, there being 
found no reports of this affair on the Union side, it may never 
be known what were tlie particulars of the failure. At the fort 
it was supposed that a large torpedo had been brought through 
the creeks back of Morris Island by small rowboats, and then 
cast loose to float down upon the fort with the first of the ebb- 
tide from the direction of the inner harbor, but that the explo- 
sion was premature. Now that it is known that the object in 
tow was a powder-raft, it is likely that in the shallow naviga- 
tion off that front of the fort the raft grounded, and the explo- 
sion occurred in a harmless manner. The plentiful casting up 
of sand and mud seems to justify this conclusion. It may l)e 
vain to speculate on the possible consequences of a successful 
explosion ; but the attempt was made on that very angle of the 
fort which was cracked from top to bottom of its scarp-wall and 
had been heavily pounded all the week before. The shaking 
down of this angle, preserving as it did the original height of 
the wall (forty feet), would have ruined the stairway, unmasked 
the wharf, and altogether been very disastrous. 

It is difficult to surmise what Major-General Foster concluded 
from this failure, but he refused to be discouraged, for the 
records of the fort tell how a third attempt of the same kind 
was made on the night of the 31st of August. A despatch 
from the commander, dated 4 A. M. September 1, 1864, reports : 
•** The enemy again attempted to blow up the fort with a torpedo. 


but failed The torpedo exploded about three hundred 

yards off the cast angle." 

What the other side had to say of this third attempt has not 
been found. Greneral Foster's reports are few and at long in- 
tervals, and the rear-admiral was at this date attending to fleet 
business at Port Royal. Under date of August 4th the general 
says : " The slow and careful firing upon Fort Sumter is begin- 
ning to exhibit a marked effect : two breaches, one on the gorge 
and the other on the right flank, are being successfully made ; 
the immense mass of debris that is presented in appearance to 
our forts is being smashed up and blown away by our shells in 
a slow but sure manner. In a reasonable time; the fort will be 
rendered untenable, and if still held by the enemy can be taken 
by our troops at any time we choose." 

But the general was very inventive. Besides the powder- 
rafts, he projected some other structures of still stranger and 
bolder enterprise. TJhese he describes as follows : " The assault- 
ing arks will be simply modern row-galleys, fifty oars on a side, 
will draw twenty-six inches of water when loaded with one 
thousand men ; will have elevated towers for sharpshooters, and 
an assaulting ladder or gang-plank of fifty-one feet in length, 
operated by machinery. These will be very useful anywhere 
in assaulting a fort or landing troops in shoal water. I pro- 
pose also to build a light-draught iron-clad, and have writ- 
ten to General Meigs to ascertain if I can have the railroad 

Meanwhile, the fort was growing stronger under the long- 
continued firing of this third great bombardment. Whenever 
it was observed that the fire became " slow and infrequent in 
consequence of the stock of ammunition having given out and 
none being received " (Foster's despatches), the working-parties 
at the fort would be emboldened to work by day as well as by 
night in strengthening the defenses, and particularly in adding 
material to the much-reduced sea-face, filling in with debris 
taken from other parts the cribwork on the interior of the 
same face, which had been waiting for two months for such 
ballast. Even a new blockhouse was laid out within the line 
of this cribwork to furnish quarters for a company, and to de- 


liver an infantry fire, if necessary, upon the parade. An inspec- 
tion of tlie plans and sections of the fort at this period will 
show that the whole of this new work on the sea-face had to be 
drawn back of (t. e. mithin the liries of) the old scarp -wall and 
easematesy these latter having been almost entirely destroyed 
and swept away.* 

The bombardment which had begun on the 7th of July, and 
continued with var}'ing intensity, but without any reid inter- 
mission, day and night through July, August, and the first week 
in September, is recorded as having lasted sixty days. A minor 
bombardment, the eighth and the last of all, ensued for a week 
longer. The Union general reports on September 19th : " Fire 
stopped for want of ammunition." t^reviously to that date it 
bad been only slackened, never stopped. It is probable that 
along with ammunition he had also been exhausting the powers 
and endurance of his Parrott rifle cannon. It will be remem- 
bered how many of them (twenty-four) had been already ex- 
pended under Major-General Gillmore. At any rate, there are 
signs, in the rear-admiraFs Diary, of the general's arranging to 
borrow heavy smoothbord guns from the fleet to strengthen his 
batteries on Morris Island. Four Xl-inch guns were accord- 
ingly put ashore and mounted. These, with one rifle of 300, 
three of 200, and one of 100 pounds, with two 10-inch colum- 
biads, twelve mortars of 10 and two of 13 inches, made up what 
the admiral rat«? as " the most powerful battery that has been 
erected against Sumter." But orders must have been sent from 
Washington not to expend ammunition at such a rate any longer, 
and this " most powerful batterj' " remained unused. 

It can, therefore, be truly said that the military interest of 
the Confederate defense of Fort Sumter came to its end with 
the close of this third grand bombardment. No firing upon the 
fort but such as may be termed desultory occurred after Sep- 
tember, 1864. As in previous cases, a tabulated exhibit of 
the characteristic facts of this bombardment has been made, 
and will be found to assist the mind in estimating the com- 
parative value of the attack and defense on this and other 
occasions : 

' See Plates after Appendis^. 


A Table of Firing, Casualties, and Damaois. 
Third Oraiid Bcmbardmenl^ Sixty Cfnueeutive Days and Nighta. 

Date. . 

siiU'^S^. \ C«ualti«. . 

July (from 7th) 


September (to the 7th) 


8,680 ' 8 killed, 40 wounded: 
5,772 , 5 killed, 22 wounded. > 
214 1 Skilled, 3 wounded. 

14,666 1 16 killed, 65 wounded. 

Remarks. — At 6rst severe and alarming in the absence of a full working- 
force, the damages were eventually controlled and repoired. Powder-rafis 
failed entirely to injure the fort. The commander killed on the fourteenth 

The remaining events of this history, with the exception of 
the changes and improvement brought about in tlie fort itself, 
will be seen to have been shaped so materially by the movements 
of the Union forces elsewhere as to require some aocotint to be 
given of the latter. 

On the one hand, a plan of oiierations, military and naval, 
was formed for the capture of Fort Fisher, the extensive and 
powerful fortification at the entrance of the Cnpe Fear River, 
North Carolina, and of Wilmington, the port which it defended. 
These operations, covering the time between the middle of De- 
cember, 1864, and the 15th of January following, terminated 
with the capture of Fort Fisher on that day.^ But in prepara- 
tion for this movement Rear- Admiral Dahlgren was notified, as 
early as October, that four of his monitors and some gunboats 
would be wanted for the expedition to Cape Fear ; and although 
it api>ears that none of these were eventually withdrawn from 
the station off Charleston harbor, the movement on Fort Fisher 
determined the policy of the Union forces before Charleston to 
be henceforth wholly defensive. 

On the other hand, the march of General W. T. Sherman 
through Georgia, and his occupation of Savannah prior to his 
march through South Carolina, occurring about the same time, 
required the co-operation of both the land and naval forces in 
front of Charleston. The rear-admiral himself became much 
engrossed with the organizing and drilling of a naval brigade 

* See " R^umd and Conclusion,'^ page 260. 


at Port Royal about the end of November, preparing it to take 
the field with howitzers and marines, and to operate with the 
gunboats in sustaining General Foster's diversions in favor of 
Ueneral Sherman. 

These movements, by the way of the head-waters of Broad 
River where they approach very near to the line of the Charles- 
ton and Savannah Railroad, were aimed to strike the road at 
two points — Grahamville and Coosawhatchie. 

The advance upon the former place was made from Boyd's 
Neck, a landing only seven miles distant, by Brigadier-General 
John P. Hatch, commanding a column of 5000 men, including 
the naval brigade under Commander George H. Preble, In- 
stead of striking the railroad immediately, as could have l>een 
done with scarcely any opposition, a whole day, November 29th, 
was lost by the work of intrenching. This gave time to the 
Confederates, and enabled them to collect a force of infantry, 
numbering 1400 from Georgia, together with about 300 cavalry 
and artillerj' from South Carolina. 

Early on the morning of November 30th the Confederates, 
under Colonel Charles J. Colcock, advanced in small force — one 
company of the Third South Carolina Cavalry under Captain 
Peeples, and one field-piece from Kanapaux's (Lafayette) Bat- 
tery under Lieutenant Christopher Zealy. This advance was 
all-important, for time was required to receive and put in posi- 
tion behind some slight works at Honey Hill, three miles from 
Grahamville, the infantr}' and artillery, then hurriedly arriving 
from Savannah and elsewhere. 

After advancing a mile and a half beyond Honey Hill, the 
Confederates met the Union force about eight o'clo(;k, and 
checked them for a while with some effective artillery practice 
and skirmishing. When about to be flanked the colonel com- 
manding took advantage of a circumstance that proved highly 
favorable to the defense. A large field of dry broom-grass se]>- 
arated the combatants. This was instantly fired, and burned 
furiously with a wind sweeping the flames toward the invaders. 
By this expedient they were thrown into great disonler, and 
ranch valuable time was gained for the Confederates. 

So it happened that not until ten o'clock was the position at 


Honey Hill attacked by the Union troops. By that time the 
defenders, marshalled under Major-General Gustavus W. Smith, 
and ordered directly by Clolonel Colcock as to their disposition 
and fighting, were well prepared to meet them. The result was 
a complete victory gained by the Confederates. For at the onset 
and in the series of subsequent manoeuvres, including a flank 
movement on the Confederate right gallantly met and repelled 
by a charge of the Forty-seventh Georgia volunteers, the Union 
force was beaten very disastrously, retreating finally to the cover 
of thieir works and gunboats, and reporting a total loss of 746 
or 764 men— -estimated by some to be nearer 1200 — killed and 
Vounded. The loss of the Confederates was but 4 killed and 
40 wounded. 

This victory at Honey Hill, where 1700 put to flight 5000, 
was one of the most brilliant on the coast. It a&sured an open 
road of retreat for Lieutenant-General Hardee from Savannah, 
and encouraged the troops at Charleston with good prospects of 

-The distinguished services of Major-General G. W. Smith and 
his command were gratefully acknowledged by the Legislature 
of Georgia, March, 9, 1865, in appropriate resolutions. The 
following is an extract from them : " The State with pride 
records the gtdlant conduct of her militia, and feels assured 
that when an emergency again arises State lines will be forgot<- 
ten by her militia, and a patriotism exhibited which knows noth- 
ing luit our whole countr5\" 

Most cordially will South Carolina also cherish the memory 
of that victorious day, when brothers-in-arnis stood shoulder to 
shoulder in her defense, and her own weakening ranks were 
generously reinforced by the "home guards" of her sister 

* From the Siege of Savannah^ by Charles C. Jones, Jr., the following note is 
extracted, with a few changes: "The followincj organizations were present on 
tills memorable occasion, and constituted the little Confederate army charged 
with driving back a Fedefal force more than three times as numerous: 
Infantry: Tlie First brigade Georgia militia, Colonel Willis. 
The State Line brigade (Georgia), Colonel Wilson. 
The Forty-seventh Georgia Confederate regiment, Lieutenant-Col- 
onel A. C. Edwards. 


The other movement, upon Coosawhatchie, b^an with a land- 
ing of the same troops at Gr^orie's Point on Decemlier Gth, 
where they met with some resistance, but succeeded in pushing 
their way to a position somewhat less than a mile from the rail- 
road. Here they fortified themselves, mounting rifle-guns, with 
whicli they vainly attempted to stop the trains and traffic of the 
road. During December and January they made several ad- 
vances, but were driven back to their position by the Confe<j- 
orates, the chief engagements being on December 7th and 9th, 
and the Confederate casualties on those days amounting to 88. 
The Southern troops engaged were from the Fifth, the Thirty- 
second, and the Forty-seventh Georgia regiments, the Seventh* 
North Carolina battalion, the Third South Carolina Cavalry, the 
battalion of cadets from the South Carolina Military Academy 
under Major J. B. White, together with some militia and re- 
serves, and a battery of light artillery under Captain W. K. 
Bachman. On the 6th they were commanded by Brigadier- 
General S. J. Gartrell ; on the 7th, by Colonel A. C. Edwards ; 
on the 9th, by Brigadier-General B. H. Robertson — the whole 
defense under Major-General Sam Jones, commanding, but 
assisted later by Brigadier-General W. B. Taliaferro from tlie 
immediate vicinity of Charleston.* 

During these operations Charleston harbor had been left for 

hjantry: The Tliirty-second Georgia Confederate regiment, Lieutenant-Col- 
onel Bacon. 
The Athens battalion, Major Cook. 
ITie Augusta battalion, Major Jackson. 
Cavalry: Cos. B and E, and detachments from Company C and the Kebel 
Troop, all belonging to the Third regiment South Carolina Cav- 
alry, under command of Major John Jenkins. 
Artillery: A section of the Beaufort Artillery, C.^iptain 11. M. Stuart (posted 
at the centre on the public road). 
A section of DePass's light battery. 
A section of the Lafayette Artillery (Kanapaux's)." 

(For the facts of the charge by the Forty-seventh Georgia and the wound- 
ing of Major J. C. Cone and Captain Didge, Co. F, of the same regiment, the 
Butiior is indebted to the adjutant, B. S. Williams.) 

* The Confederate force was ooOO, of which about 3000 were militia and 
reserres. Its openitious, reported by Major-General S. Jones, may be read in 
the Southei-n Historical Societies PaperSy vol. iii. 


upward of three months without threat or disturbance of any 
kind. Except a slow and irregular fire from Morris Island 
upon the city at extreme range, extreme elevation 35 to 40 
degrees, and bursting charges,* there was no firing on either 

The theatre of war on ihe South Atlantic coast was now 
removed to Savannah. That city had been skilfully fortifier! 
with the heaviest gims and strongest batU^ries. The army haJ 
abundant time for constructing these, and the experience of the 
war had been fully used by the Confederate engineers.* The 
navy, too, had been preparing its iron-clad gunboats for river 
defense. But most of the fortification was against advancfts 
irom the south and east : on the northern front, approached by 
General Sherman, there was the obstacle of an inundation, with 
artillery defenses of lighter construction and more extended 
lines; in fact, thirteen miles in length. The Confederates, 
numbering about 10,000, one half being militia or reserves, 
wei'e commanded by Lieutenant-General William J. Hardee: 
they resisted from the 9th to the 20th of December, when the 
order was given with approval of General Beauregard, com- 
manding, to evacuate the city. All troops, with baggage and 
49 pieces of light artillery, were successfully withdrawn on the 
night of 19t]i-20l:h, crossing the Savannah on pontoons opposite 
the city, and falling back upon Charleston. It w^as not a 
moment too soon, for General Sherman, having for several 
days skirmished on the Carolina side, was moving down the 
river to flank them, and had ordered a division to reinforce 
Foster in South Carolina, and cut the railroad where he had 
long been threatening it in the vicinity of Coosa whatchie.^ 

The rear of the retreating Confederates was covered by a 
division under Major-General L. McLaws, holding the line 
of the Combahee or Salkehatchie River, where it was strung 

* Tlie expenditure of rifle cjinnon in all operations on Morris Island was 
«ortietlnng extraordinary, beinji; under Gillmore 24, and under Foster 27 
pieces; total, 51. 

- The plans and constmction, approved by General Beauregard, were the 
special charge of Captain (afterward Major) John McCrady, chief engineer 
of the State of Georgia. 

' Siege of Savannah j Colonel C. C. Jones. 


out for more than twenty miles. This was done until General 
Sherman, having rested his army in Savannah for over a month, 
advanced into South Carolina, and forced back these troops ujwn 
Branchville, and farther to the Santee River, where it was 
crossed by the North-eastern Railroad, the only remaining 
avenue of escape from Charleston. 

The whole Confederate force available for the protection of 
Charleston after the fall of Savannah was reported by Lieuten- 
ant-General Hardee to General Beauregard {Militaty Operationd, 
vol. ii. page 341) as being "only 13,700 eflFectives, infantry and 
artillery, of whom about 3000 are State I'eserves and militia." 
These could not be reinforced from the direction of Wilmington, 
for that city was beleaguered ; nor by the remnants of Hood's 
army returning from Tennt^ssee and Georgia, because General 
Sherman was about to march between them and the coast, and 
he had with him more "than five times as many soldiers as the 
Confederates had in the vicinity of Charleston. 

Thus, about the 1st of February, 1865, began that march of 
General Sherman's army through the interior of South Carolina 
which inevitably decided the fate of Charleston by causing the 
evacuation of all the defenses of the harbor and adjoining coast. 
It would not be too much to say that the campaigns of General 
Sherman in Georgia and the Carolinas forced the fall of the 
Southern Confederacy ; for the resources of the countrj', already 
straitened, were all but exhausted by his depredations, burnings, 
and destructions. Brave men with tender hearts for their own 
altars and homes can readily understand how such fighting — if 
so it can be called — will operate to shorten any war. But while 
they may recognize the success of the policy, they will never be 
found to envy the reputation of its advocates nor be tempted to 
emulate their example. In contrast with the policy and senti- 
ments of General Sherman it is pleasing to quote the noble 
words of Commodore John Rodgers, replying to an inquiry by 
a committee of the United States Senate in 1864 : " I should be 
reluctant to burn a hout'^ over a woman's and child's head be- 
cause her husband defied me. Dahlgren, if he burns Charles- 
ton, will be called a savage by all Europe, and after the heat of 
combat is over he will be called a savage by our own r*K)ple." 


Note. — The following extract from Lieutenant-General Richard Taylor's 
work. Destruction and IteconMru/idoJi, New York, 1883, serves to illustrate an 
important movement of troops to the battle of Honey Hill: 

'* The railway from Savannah to Charleston passes near the coast. To lose 
the Charleston line would seriously interfere with the concentration just 
reooni mended. Hardee said that he could ill spare men, and had no means 
of moving them promptly. I bethought me of Toombs, Smith (General 
G. W.), and Governor Brown's armv. The energetic Toombs had frighteneil 
the r.iiiw:)y people into hlui, and /rom hid telegrams might be ex- 
jiected before dawn. Hardee thought but little of the suggestion, because the 
ground of quarrel oetween Governor Brown and President Davks was the re- 
fusal of the former to allow his guards to serve beyond their State. How- 
ever, I had. faith in Toombs and Smith. A short distance to the south of 
Savannah, on the Gulf road, was a switch by which carriages could be shunted 
on to a connection with the Charleston line. I wrote to Toombs of the 
emergency, and sent one of Hardee's staff to meet him at the switch. The 
governor's army was quietly shunted off, and woke up in South Carolina, 
where it was just in time to repulse the enemy after a spirited action, thereby 
saving the railway. Doubtless, the Georgians, a plucky people, would have 
responded to an appeal to leave their State under the circumstances, but 
TooRil s enjoyed the joke of making them unconscious patriots." — (Chapter 
xii. page 215.) 


January and February, 1865. 

Exhaustion op the Confederate Armies — South Carolina Oveb- 


— General BEAUREfJARD prepares to Evacuate the Coast— Reak- 


destroyed by a Torpedo near Fort Sumter — General Foster 


demonstrate on Jambs Island — ^Sturdy Resistance offered by 
Major Manioault in the Rifle-pits— Union Expedition to Bull's 
Bay stoutly oppasED by the Marion Artillery, Captain Parker 
— General Hardee's delay in Charleston becoming Dangerous- 
Order FOR Evacuation issued by General Beauregard, February 
16th — The Commandpjr of Fort Sumter receives his Final In- 
structions — The F'ort to be left Intact — Its Flag Saluted by 
THE last Evening Gun— F*reparations for Removal — 'I'he Gar- 
rison LEAVES the Fort by 11 p. m., February 17th— All other 
Troops Withdrawn Successfully from the Harbor under Heavy 
Firing from the Enemy — The City Evacuated early on the 
morning of February 18, 1865. 

After the successful evacuation of Savannah by Lieutenant- 
General Hardee, under instructions from General Beauregard 
and the approval of the War Department in Richmond, the 
next question presented was, " How much longer can Charles- 
ton be held ?" The exigency of the situation, and, in fact, the 
desperate fortunes of the Confederate cause itself, were becoming 
daily more apparent. 

Against three large and well-equipped armies — ^that of Gen- 
eral Grant in Virginia, that of Greneral Thomas in Tennessee, 
and this of General Sherman on the South Atlantic coast, men- 
acing three other States of the Confederacy — there was now re- 
maining east of the Mississippi but one well-organized array of 



forces, that in Southern Virginia. So little had the South left to 
oppose the great military power and resources of the North ! Im- 
perishable renown had gathered around that army which Greneral 
Lee commanded, but not even the inspiration of his name could 
arrest the weakening of its battalions or rescue it from its peril- 
ous position. The next march of .General Sherman would evi- 
dently threaten the communications, not of Charleston only, but 
also of Richmond and Petersburg as well. With a thoroughly 
appointed army of 70,000 veteran troops he could now push 
between the coast, where General Hardee had a column of less 
than 14,000 unaccastomed to campaign work, and the up{)er 
couiitrj' of South Carolina, where there were no troops save 
the weary remnants of Hood's defeated army hurrying in de- 
tached bodies to make some wished-for conjunction with com- 
rades in North or South Carolina. It is anticipative, but allow- 
able, to record just here j:hat no such concentration was made 
until after General Sherman had marched quite through South 
Carolina and been eluded by Lieutenaut-General Hardee, lead- 
ing his troops from Charleston, through Cheraw, into North 

The first of January, 1865, found Charleston gathered within 
her circle of defenses — not invested, but much perplexed. Her 
harbor, well protected against an enemy, had now for four years 
defied the attacks of both the land and naval forces of the 
Union. But it was a new thing to have an army of such mag- 
nitude as General Sherman's ready to march upon her chief 
communications, if not upon the city herself. 

For some time previous the gravity of the crisis was fully 
realized both in Charleston and in Richmond. From the latter 
place General Beauregard was instructed to apply the same prin- 
ciple as had guided him in Savannah — viz. " The defense should 
not be too protracted, to the sacrifice of the garrison." Acconl- 

' It ha8 always appeared to the writer that a stand against Sherman could 
have Ueen made on the left bank of the Wateree River in South Carolina. 
Here, in the vicinity of Camden, (leneral Hardee's army from the coast could 
have Ijeen combined with (leneral Bragg's fmm Wilmington, instead of seek- 
ing a combination at Bentonville, N. C. This would have required an earlier 
abandonment of Wilmington, hut the sacrifice would then have been more 
profitable than it proved to be a month or so later. 


ingly, before being called away to Alabama and Mississippi by 
General Hood's disaster, General Beauregard left the fullest 
directions with Lieutenant-General Hardee relative to the im- 
pending evacuation of the city. 

Meanwhile, the Union army in Savannah rested and enjoyed 
itself, refitting and reorganizing preparatorj' to another long 
march. Both the army and navy commanders before Charles- 
ton took frequent opportunities to confer with General Sherman 
as to his plans and their own. Rear-Adi^iral Dahlgren men- 
tions in his Dia}^ that the general " does not intend to turn off 
for Charleston or Georgetown, unless forced to do so by unfor- 
seen circumstances. The general urged me not to commit ray 
vessels to the fire of the Charleston batteries." 

And yet the admiral, seeing that the war was about to close 
with little or no naval distinction for his command, manifested 
at this time some pugnaciousness. For it appears that a third 
council was held by him and his captains of the iron-clad squad- 
ron. Three plans for co-operating with General Sherman were 
suggested : " 1st. Attack Sullivan's Island ; 2d. Pass in and 
attack Johnson ; 3d. Run all the way up and attack the city. 
They were not inclined to go beyond the first step — ^attack Sul- 
livan's Island. After a full and unreserved discussion, I de- 
cided that the obstructions near Sumter should be examined by 
' boats under the supervision of the captains of monitors for each 
night." That this most obvious duty was not performed lon^ 
before, under both Dahlgren and his predecessor DuPont, will 
ever remain a piece of unaccountable, if not unreasonable, ne- 
glect. (See Appendix to this chapter.) Better that it had been 
done long before than pwitponed to this last moment of the war, 
for now it cost the admiral very dear. 

There were months in the year 1863, after the repulse of the 
armored vessels under DuPont, when no such things as torpedoes 
were in place near Fort Sumter. But as the war advanced the 
u.«o of all kinds of explosives, torpedoes, submarine and sub- 
terrene shells, rapidly increased. So it hapjx^ned that one of 
the monitors, the Patapsco, being on picket-duty for the night 
of tlie 15th-16th of January, and "engaged in covering the 
scout- and picket-boats that were searching the channel for ob- 


gtructions and torpedoes," was almost instantly sank by the 
explosion of a torpedo about eight hundred yards below Fort 
Sumter, and nearly on a line connecting the fort with Battery 
Beauregard on Sullivan's Island. The lieutenant commanding, 
S. P. Quackenbush, with four officers and thirty-eight men made 
their escape, but sixty-two others were carried down by the sink- 
ing vessel. This monitor was quite a veteran, having been the 
fourth in line on the 7th of April, 1863, a frequent opponent of 
Battery Wagner during its protracted siege, and the hardest 
fighter of the 8th of September, when, after two hours and & 
half, she was towed out of action with the heavy works of Sul- 
livan's Island much the worse for exposure. The Patapsco was 
the third of the armored vessels sunk oiF Charleston harbor, the 
Keokuk and the Weehawken having gone down the year before. 

Toward the end of January, General Sherman was ready to 
move from Savannah. For purposes of diversion and co-opera- 
tion he conferred with Major-Greneral Foster and Rear-Admiral 
Dahlgren, and favored, or rather specially urged, one of the 
movements, a descent on the main land at Bull's Bay, about 
twenty miles north of Charleston {Memoirs Dahlgren, page 493), 
while no doubt agreeing to the other operations of the general 

So the gunboats were ordered to be active on the flank of th^ 
Confederates ; and first, on January 26th, the Dai-Ching, pro- 
ceeding up the Combahee River (called, higher up, the Salke- 
hatchie), was stopped by a batter}'' of heavy guns on the left bank 
at a place known as " Burnet's." In attempting to escape she 
ran aground, was set on fire by her commander, and was totally 
destroyed. Next, a brigade under General E. E. Potter, sup- 
ported by the steam-sloop Pawnee and the gunboat Sonoma, 
threatened the Confederates by landing at White Point, up the 
North Eklisto River, January 30th, and pushing a few miles 
toward Adam's Run ; but being met with resistance by a light 

' On the 24th of Jsmuary General Sherman wrote to the Admiral : " Tc»- 
morrow I will deraonRtrate on Salkehatchie, and will be obliged If you will 
M ap Edisto or Stono, just to make the enemy uneasy on their flank, and 
develop if he intends to hold fast to Charleston and Columbia both." — (Report 
Secretary of Navy, 1866.) 


battery strongly posted at King's Creek, the troops withdrew 
to the ships that evening. In this vicinity of the Gombahee 
and Edisto, Toogoodoo and Wadmalaw Rivers, diversions like 
these were continued until about the 10th of February, before 
which time Sherman's army was all in hand on the Carolina 
side of the Savannah River and marching upon Branchville, 
sixty miles west of Charleston. 

At two points nearer the city the demonstrations were more 
decided, being in larger force and attended with some fighting. 
Before they occurretl Major-Greneral Foster, after serving in 
command of the department for eight months, was relieved by 
Major-General Gillmore, who returned to his former {wst Feb- 
ruary 9, 1865, in time to co-operate with his old colleague, the 
rear-admiral, in the movements now to be described as occurring 
on James Island, contiguous to the harbor, and on Bull's Bay, 
about twenty miles north-east of Charleston. Although they 
were both combined attacks, the land force had most to do on 
James Island, while the naval force was more prominent at 
Bull's Bay. These were the last struggles in the defense of 

The scene of the action on James Island was nearly the same 
as that of the previous summer, being the southern point of the 
island, where the Stono and the Folly Rivers approach each 
other. The Confederate lines and batteries were all as before, 
with heavy artillery and ammunition, but the light batteries and 
infantry troops had been moving to the rear for some days, 
leaving but a scant force of pickets to man the rifle-pits. These 
extended almost from one river to the other, were nearly two 
miles in advance of the fortifications, and were accessible to the 
enemy on the side of Stono by Grimball's Causeway ; on the 
other side by Rivers's Causeway. Lieutenant-Colonel Jaraes 
Welsman Brown at Secessionville, with Major Edward Mani- 
gault of the South Carolina Siege-Train in advance, second in 
command, had been left to defend the ground. 

While matters were in this condition the attack was begun 
early on the morning of February 10th by a heavy shelling 
from two gunboats in Folly River and two others in Stono, 
the latter being soon joined by the monitor Lehigh. From the 


Union forces on Morris and Folly Islands, under Brigadier- 
General Schinimelfennig, two raiments with field-guns and 
two companies of skirmishers, commanded by Colonel A. 8. 
Hartwell, moved on the Confederate outposts by the way of* 
Grimball's Causeway, on the right of the line, skirmishing and 
advancing twice to the attack. Here Major Manigault, receiv- 
ing orders to hold on to the last extremity, made a stubborn 
defease. He had, all told, but 131 men, only 80 being in front 
at the rifle-pits, with no light artillery at all ; and he held those 
rifle-pits for four hours, until over one-third of his little force 
was either killed, wounded, or captured, he himself being severely 
wounded and made a prisoner.' 

The pits were carried by a front and flanking charge about 
3.30 p. M., though not ^vithout a loss to the enemy of upward 
of 90 men. The position, however, was not held, for the troops 
fell back to the cover of their gunboats the same evening, and 
did not again advance. But the naval fire was continued all 
night, and for several days and nights, particularly on the 14th 
and 17th, during which. the little band of Confederates on James 
Island was kept in all the harassing excitement of a most 
arduous service. They were the rear-guard of General Hardee's 
withdrawing forces, and he could have had no better men. 

Bull's Bay appears, to a superficial observer of the map of 
the coast, to be an excellent base of operations against Charles- 
ton. It had often been proposed and discussed from the very 
first period of the war, but had just as often been dropped out 
of plans and calculations. Any examination will prove its chan- 

' The Confederate force engaged under Major Manigaiilt consisted of the 
Palmetto Guard, Captain B. C. AVebb, Lieutenants W. H. Chapman^ James A. 
Bnix, and Robert E. Mellichamp; the Cobb Guard of Georgia, commanded 
hr Captain Tumipseed ; and n company of the Second South Carolina Artil- 
lery, commanded by Captain Kennedy and Lieutenant Charles Rush. The 
following casualties in the Palmetto Guard have been furnished by Captain 
Webb and Lieutenant Chapman, to whom I am indebted for other particulars: 
Killed, Corporal W. P. Nagle, Private C. H. Kerr; wounded, Lieutenant 
J. A. Brnx, Privates P. G. Langley, P. T. Drayton, A. O. Pansin, C. A. 
Aimar, J. L. Fair, J. W Zom; wounded and captured, W. L. Campbell, 
A. R. Haig, W. W. Houston, W. R. Mouzon ; sick, captured on the field, 
John T. Humphreys, James A. Bowie, Alexander Bowie ; total loss, killed, 
wounded, and captured, 2 officers and 34 men. — J. J. 


uels narrow^ its roadstead contracted, its waters shoal, and its 
shores fringed with wide marshes, making the approach to them 
quite difficult. But General Sherman seems to have prevailed 
on the commanders before Charleston to fit out an expedition to 
the bay, as though expecting larger results from this quarter 
than from any other. After Greneral Foster left the depart- 
ment, General Gillmore took up the project and entered into it 
with Rear-Admiral Dahlgren with some appearance of earnest- 
ness. To land a column there and drive the defenders down 
the coast, upon the main land to the rear of Mount Pleasant 
and Sullivan's Island, promised well for final operatioas 
the defiant city. 

A land force under Brigadier-General E. E. Potter was accord- 
ingly conveyed to Bull's Bay by several army transports on 
February 12th, supported by a flotilla of seven gunboats, 
" three armed tugs, thirty-three boats, and thirteen pieces of 
artillery,'' under Commander F. Stanly of the navy. The rear- 
admiral himself went to direct, until summoned elsewhere the 
same day by a despatch from General Sherman. The early 
morning outlook from the mastheads so suddenly congregated 
at the northern point of Bull's Island could not have been very 
satisfactory. The shores of the bay proper exhibited no favor- 
able bluff* for landing as seen three or four miles distant to the 
north-west and losing themselves in enveloping marshes. A 
little earthwork may have been discovered ait Graham's Point, 
where Owendaw Creek enters the bay at its extreme northern 
limit, admitting small craft to the low bluffs and landings. But 
nearer by half, and much more promising, were the shores of a 
smaller bay to the westward, separated from Bull's Bay by a 
stretch of marsh, but seemingly an appendage of the larger 
sheet of water. This was called Sewee Bay,^ and on its open* 

* This bay was the scene of an action in colonial times (1706), when the 
French expedition under Le Feboure thrsatened Charleston. After his ships 
had been driven from tlie harbor, news was brought to the governor, Sir 
Nathaniel Johnson, that n fresh landing had been made in Sewee Bay. A 
force under Captain Fenwicke was immediately despatched by land, rid 
Haddrell's Point, and another by sea, consisting of two armed vessels under 
Colonel William Khett. The former, arriving first, met with gome resistance 
from the French, but soon caused them to take to their ships, when, meetiiig 




^hore were two miles of bluff dotted with the summer-faoufies of 
^ little settlement known as AndersoDville. The great advan- 
tages of this landing commended it at once to the expedition, 
for, besides presenting open shores, it was at once both nearer to 
the fleet and nearer to Charleston than 'Biiirs Bay. 

The Confederates meanwhile had not been idle, but collected 
in good time, from Mount Pleasant and elsewhere, a small force, 
between 200 and 250 men, consisting of the Marion Artillery, 
with four Napoleon guns and two small companies of infantry, 
the whole under Captain Edward L. Parker of the light, bat- 
tery. They occupied some rifle-pits and sunken batteries of the 
slightest construction along the shore of Sewee Bay, while farther 
U) the north, where Owendaw Creek entered Bull's Bay, there was 
also a similar force, posted to defend that approach to the main 
land. Such were the troops which constituted the last of the 
ooast-guard and disputed the landing of a formidable expedition. 
With these slight elements of a problem before the minds of 
its leaders" the expedition appears to have been singularly non- 
plussed, for it was four days occupied in finding a place to land 
its troops. On the morning of its arrival Brigadier-General 
Potter, with Captains Stanly and Balch of the navy, advanced 
in two columns of barges armed with howitzers to make a recon- 
noissance of the Andersonville shore. But they came no nearer 
than a mile of it, firing some harmless shells at Captain Parker's 
battery, but tfeceiving from him some well-directed shots, of 
which one struck and disabled a boat-howitzer. What with 
this warm reception and the tortuous navigation, they advanced 
no farther, and after getting aground in many directions with- 
drew for the day. One of the gunboats, the Ottawa, succeeded, 
however, in gaining a i)Osition from which to shell, at long range, 
the shores of Sewee Bay, and did 90 with sound and fury, but 
with no real disturbance to the Confederates. 

The* following days were occupied with soundings and recon- 
noitring in other directions ; but not until barges were sent up 

Colonel Bhett by water, they surrendered without firing a shot. The prize, 
with 90 prisoners, was bronglit into Charleston harbor. Among the officers 
captured was Monsieur Arbuset, said to be the commander of the land forces 
of the expedition. (See Eamsay'a Hktoty of Souih Carolina^ vol. i. oh. v.) 


to Owendaw Creek on February 16th, and the evacuation of 
Charleston had b^un, did Brigadier-General Potter make his 
descent on Bull's Bay. This gave time to Captain Parker with 
his battery and infantry support, joined at the last by Kirk's 
Rangers and some dismounted cavalry, to withdraw into the 
interior on the night of the 15th by the way of Huger's bridge 
on the eastern brancli of Cooper River. 

While these movements of the Union forces were in progress, 
threatening the Charleston and Savaunah Railroad on the west, 
James Island on the south^ and Mount Pleasant, vid Bull's Bay, 
on the east, Licutenant-General Hardee was hastened by Gren- 
eral Beauregard to begin the evacuation of Charleston, which 
had been agreed upon as early as the 2d of February. The 
delays that occurred seemed unaccountable to the latter, and on 
visiting the city on the 14th he issued final memoranda of 
onlers to Lieu tenant-General Hardee, concluding with these 
paragraphs : 

'* In view of the facility the enemy has at Branchville and Orange- 
burg, and in the direction of Columbia, to cut the line of retreat of the 
garrison of Charleston, as above referred to, it becomes necessary to com- 
mence the evacuation as soon as the necessary preparations can be made. 

" The holding of Charleston is now reduced to only a question of a 

few days. Its loss does not jeopardize the safety of the State of South 

Carolina, but the loss of the garrison would greatly contribute to that 

end. ■ 

" G. T, Beauregabd, Oeneral" 

Again, from Sumterville, February 16th, he sent a peremp- 
tory order to Lieutenant-General Hardee to " commence imme- 
diately movement as arranged," and the latter replied the next 
day that it was to be then begun and carried out. Unfortunately, 
the lieutenant-general was himself taken sick, and Major-Greneral 
L. McLaws being sent for, further delay was incurred, so that 
*'the evacuation was not effected until the night of the 17th and 
the early morning of the 18th of February."— {J//7ifary Opei^a- 
tions of Gena*al Beaiiregay^d.) 

It is not apparent that any important concentration of forces 
in front of General Sherman before his entrance into Columbia 
could have been secured by an earlier evacuation of Charleston. 
But the delay was dangerous, and became more so as the troops 


retreating from the coast by the line of the North-eastern Rail- 
road, vid Florence and Cheraw, approached the latter place. 
Here they had barely time enough to cross the Pee Dee River 
and burn the bridge in the face of General Sherman and his 
resistance to their rear-guard at that point. 

It now remains to fill out with some particulars the closing 
period of the history of the defense of Fort Sumter. The last 
and longest continued of its three principal bombardments was 
seen, in the previous chapter, to have terminated in the early 
part of the month of September, 1864. During the remainder 
of that month and through October and November the records 
of firing indicate that it became more and more desultory, aver- 
aging about thirty shots per day. When, in December, the 
march of Greneral Sherman upon Savannah called for the co- 
operation of both Union forces before Charleston, Fort Sumter 
had entire respite from the enemy, occupied elsewhere on the 
coast. Only seven shots were received in December and sixty- 
four in January, and none at all in February. 

Thus the question of the fort's impregnability was at length 
settled. It had, in fact, silenced the very guns which once had 
silenced it. No less than fifty-one rifle-cannon of the heaviest 
calibre and of the costliest make were expended' (worn out or 
burst) in the firing from Morris Island upon the works of 
Charleston harbor and the city itself. The share w^hich Sumter 
had in that firing was worthy of such a post of honor, worthy 
of such a lion-like resistance, follow-ed by such protracted en- 
durance, as distinguished its defense. 

But, though not to be surrendered, the fort was finally to be 
evacuated, together with all the other works on the a)ast of South 
Carolina — a result forced, as has been seen, by the march of 
General Sherman at the head of an army of 70,000 veteran 
troops through the State from Savannah to Columbia, from 
Columbia to Cheraw ; and by the exhausted resources of the 
Confederacy itself. 

The conimander of Fort Sumter, Captain Thomas A. Huguenin, 
had for a long season of undisturbed jx)Ssession seen the reliefs 

' Supplementary report Gillmore's operations, page 34. Twenty-four were 
expended by General Gillraore, and twenty-seven raore by General Foster. 




ec « 
< 8 








of his invincible garrison come and go, while the labors of his 
engineer force were adding strength, accommodation, and even 
finish, to the powerful earthwork into which the ruined brick 
fort had l)een transformed. He felt — ^and the city, the State, the 
whole Southern country felt with him — a lofty pride in maintain- 
ing this post made illustrious by so mucJi bravery, skill, and 
persistence. Though the sounds of war had died away around 
the harbor through all that winter of 1864-65, and the flag 
of Sumter, flung to the breeze every morning, had been daily 
lowered with the saluting of the evening gun, the time was 
drawing near for the termination of its defense and the furling 
of that flag for ever. 

It was on the 16th, two days before the city was evacuated, 
that the commander received a telegraphic despatch from head- 
quarters ordering preparations to be made at the fort Detailed 
instructions were received that evening, and in accordant* with 
them the si(;k, the negro laborers employed by the engineer de- 
partment, servant«4, and the baggage of the ofiicers were that 
night sent up to the city. 

On the morning of the 1 7th a new battle-flag was hoisted : it 
was the last flown from the walls of Confederate Sumter. During 
the day all officers were informed of the expected movement, 
and ordered to have their companies in readiness for embarking 
on the boats that night. The day passed wearily and sadly 
to all who felt the crisis of the «uise they had perilled their 
lives to maintain, and who understood the significance of aban- 
doning such a post in the defense of Charleston and its harbor. 
Troops from the neighboring States of North Carolina and 
Georgia had often done duty within those walls, as at Batten' 
Wagner, Morris Island, and elsewhere around the city. There 
were none at this time from the " Old North State," but, to- 
gether with two companies of the First South Carolina (regular) 
Infantry, there were three companies from the Thirtj'-second 
Georgia volunteers in the garrison.^ It will always be remem- 

^ The record of this fine command, and particularly of its distinguished col- 
onel, George P. Harrison, Jr., has been frequently and honorably made in the 
defense of the Carolina coast. On James Island, John's Island, Morris Island, 
at Fort Sumter, as well as around Savannah, and notably at the victory of 
Olustee in Florida, the regiment and its colonel deserved the highest praise. 


bered by the Carolinians of Fort Sumter that there were with 
them at the clcxse of its eventful career comrades from a sister 
State who had long exulted with them in its possession and 
could now feel with them the pain of its sacrifice. 

With the going down of the sun the flag was lowered and the 
last evening gun pealed its salute over the waters of the hitherto 
inviolable bay. To the latest moments of the fort's resistance 
vigilance prevailed, causing the preparations for a-ssault after 
niirhtfall to be made just as usual. The st^ctions of wire-en- 
tanglement and of bristling w(X)den pikes which formed obstruc- 
tions on the practicable slopes of the gorge and sea-face, and 
had been nightly placed for seventeen months, were lifted and 
set with customary' care by the engineer force. The light brass 
howitzers, which were to be so servic^eable and important in the 
event of another attack by barges, were run up by the ramps 
and put in positions on the crest of the work, long established 
bv the artillerists. Even the closing and fastening of the shut- 
ters to the embrasures in the casemates, where heavy guns 
frowned upon the channel, was not forgotten. The sentinels 
of course were j^xsted on the walls, and on the wharf there was 
a s{)ecial Icwkout kept for the arrival of the transport-boats. As 
the evening advanced the entire garrison, except the sentinels, 
was formed ready to move the moment the arrival of the boats 
should be reported. The total number of officers and men was 
about three hundred. 

Toward ten o'clock two small steam-transjwrts reached the 
fort, in charge of Lieutenant Thomas L. Swinton of the quarter- 
master department, long entrusted with this difficult and respon- 
sible night-service on the harbor, and thoroughly efficient in its 
performance through storm and rain, through shot and shell. 
Then the roll of the garrison was called, and the order was 
iriven to march aboard. The commander, accompanied by Lieu- 
tenant E. J. White, engineer in charge, and Lieutenant W. G. 
Ogier, adjutant of the post, proceeded to the ramparts and per- 
sonally relieved the sentinels, who were sent aboard the boats. 

On Captain Huguenin had twice devolved the unpleasant 
duty of being the last to leave a well-defended post. Here, as 
at Batter\' Wairner in the summer of 1863, the evacuation was 



To estimate rightly the place cx'oiipied in the war between the 
States by Charleston harbor and Fort Sumter, its once con- 
.spicuous citadel, the following considerations should be borne 
in mind : 

(1.) The earnest spirit of the Southern States was not tlie 
echo of some ambitious politicians, as so often falsely repre- 
sented, but the rising of a people who could judge for them- 
selves and believed themselves wronged. Their resistance when 
it was made, and their stubborn defense when that was all they 
could offer, were proofs that no frantic ebullition of sectionalism 
had been excited by "fire-eating" agitators, but that a lonjr- 
existing, constitutional difference was at issue ; and the spirit of 
the people was in keeping with the gravity of the situation. 
Although South Carolina was ever grateful for the friendship 
and support of her sisters of the Confe<leracy throughoiit the 
war, she was held by the North to be si>ecially r^ponsible for 
its outbreak. The scene of the outbreak was Charleston harbor, 
and the very focus of it*^ intense feeling was precisely there, at Fort 
Sumter. This lent its particular animosity to the Union mind, 
and indirectly gave to the people of the Palmetto State an im- 
pulse and an energy which served to protect their seaport to the 
last, but went beyond their military strength in men and means 
of defense. 

(2.) The disparity in fighting population and in materials of 
war l)etween the combatants was very great. The large part 
of the lalx)ring class in the South was not to bear arms in this 
contest, and there were no large cities to fiirnish that floating, 
adventurous population which the North could always draw 



upon to recruit her armies.* With ports well watched by block- 
ading squadrons^ the South was forced to establish industries 
altogether strange to her people. True, there was good foundry- 
work done in Virginia and North Carolina, and a superior 
powder-mill at Augusta, Georgia, but South Carolina, in par- 
ticular, was more agricultural than most of the other States. 
Artificers, skilled workmen in metals and machinery, were very 
scarce in her borders and had to be brought from other States. 
Yet there was no lack of effort to do the best under the circum- 
stances. At the very opening of the war in Charleston harbor 
iron was used to protect water-batteries ; armored gunboats were 
built at Charleston as at other places ; cannon were rifled and 
banded there ;^ all manner of projectiles prepared; and the 
daring feat of recovering the guns out of the wreck of the 
Keokuk should prove that extraordinary difficulties of a me- 
chanical kind presented themselves, and were in large measure 

(3.) The conduct of the war in front of Charleston was most 
jwrticularly marked by the new era of heavy rifled breaching- 
guiLs and iron-clad squadrons. The world looked on and won- 
dered. Both by land and by sea the fortifications of Charles- 
ton were subjected to unprecedented trial. New demands were 
made u)x>n its engineers and artillerists to increase the offensive 
and defensive powers of sea-coast warfare. They could not 
make guns to compare with Parrott's 200- and 300-poiinder 
rifles, but they cx>uld excel in practice with their l(J-inch 
colurabiad smoothbores and 7-inch Brooke rifles. The engi- 
neers around Charleston, as well as Wilmington and Savannah, 
soon learned how to fight the enemy with sand, as General Beau- 

' One of the Union regiments on Morris Island; having been reduced, was 
recruited at the North with 289 conscript* and sulwtitutes; for tlie latter the 
«ini of 18000 was paid in Pliiladelphia. (VV. W. H. Davis.) 

* Four armored gunboats were built between 1862 and 1865 — viz. the Pal- 
metto Slate, the Chicora, the Charleston, and the Columbia, but the last was 
disabled by accident after completion and never used. 

Cannon were rifled and banded, and projectiles of all kinds made in great 
quantities, from the summer of 1861 to the end of the war, at the niachine- 
8ho|« of J. M. Eason & Brother, of W. 8. Henery, and of the Confederate 
Stiites arsenal in Charleston. 


regard well expressed it, building works of such strength — and, 
when time permitted, of such finish — as had not previously been 
seen anywhere. To protect themselves against tlie engines of 
war and the armored vessels of the new era the Confederates 
were obliged to make a new era themselves, and that chiefly in 
the matter of harbor obstruction and torpedo defense. How 
effective these last were found has been fully shown in this his- 
tory of operations. The iron-clad squadrons of Rear-Admirals 
DuPont and Dahlgren were as effectually stopped for more than 
two years by fear of these as by anything else.^ 

In writing upon "Submarine Mining" an able contributor 
to Harpei^s Weekly y Sept-ember 29, 1888, refers as follows to 
the first successful applications of the science ever made : 

" To the dread of such a foe, though he disguised himself in tinker's 
pots and pans and similar grotesque ironmongery, must be credited 
tlie frequenC dilatory action of our navy during the * late unpleasant- 
ness.' In the museum at Willett's Point may be seen numerous speci- 
mens of the submarine armory of our late Confederate foes. Wood and 
metal were used as most convenient. But queer forms, crude appliances, 
and a science as yet in its babyhood were made terrible by the skill and 
energy of their engineers. Some forty of our war-vessels were destroyed 
or put hors de combat by this torpedo 'prentice-work. It was the one 
instrumentality which crippled and minimized our naval supremacy.*' 

There are many who will always believe that if a gun had 
not been fired by the forts on the 7th of April, 1863, the whole 
squadron of DuPont would have turned back from the rope- 
obstructions in the channel with the same alacrity as was shown 
by the leading vessel Weehawken on that occasion. She was 
armed with a special raft for her protection, while none of the 

' Rear-Admiml Goldsborough's opinion of iron-clads, Washington City, 
February 26, 1804: 

"The protection of harbors now-a-days does not lie in forts. They for this 
particular purpose are immeasurably effete, or at most but of subsidiary im- 
portance. It lies essentially in powerful steam -rams, aided, when necessary, 
by obstructions in pa.ssage-ways. Is it the forts of Charleston, I would ask, 
that now secure the place from rapture? Certainly not. They alone, or any 
other forts nlone (by which I mean in the absence of rams and obstructions), 
can be passed by fast and powerful vessels with impunity, assuming of course 
tiiat there is water enough to float them."— (Exec. Doc., Armored VesaeU, page 


other vessels were so furnished. The Union navy appears to 
have not even taken Mksf% to examine seriously the obstructions 
with small boats by night until the very close of the war. 
{Memoir of Dahlgreiiy page 492, and Appendix of this work, 
Chap. III.) 

(4.) The defects of original construction in Fort Sumter were, 
ID some particulars, very serious. As a general thing, the brick 
masonry was the finest of the kind, and the dimensions of the 
work were all that military science in those days required. But 
an exception was in the r^ion of the magazines. These were 
in pairs (npper and lower) at the eastern and western angles 
of the gorge, and they were .not originally protected on the inte- 
rior or parade quarter of the fort as they sbould have been. A 
fire 'of shells from the fleet lying off the eastern angle of the 
fort could take the western magazine in reverse, finding weak 
places in the inner wall, at the ventilators, and particularly in 
the. covering of the lower magazine. Much heavy work in 
stone, brick, and sandbags was required to protect the maga- 
zines in other respects and in consideration of the new era ; but 
the defects above referred to attached to their original construc- 
tion and added greatly to the labor of defense. 

(5.) The means devised for strengthening Fort Sumter against 
improved artillery were simple, but they involved prodigious 
labor snd constant vigilance. And it was to the completion of 
the8e before the bombardmenis began that the fort owed its sta- 
bility. While the average force employed by the engineers may 
not have exceeded one hundred laborers, with about twenty 
mechanics, there were weeks and months when the force was 
raised to three hundred and fifty, and immediately before the 
first bombardment it numbered four hundred and fifty laborers 
and mechanics. At that period of preparation the work was 
carried on day and night ; at later periods of repair, only in the 
night or only in the day. The upper an4 lower casemates of the 
sea-face, together with the upper and lower rooms of the gorge, 
were entirely filled, the casemates with sand alone, the rooms 
vith wet cotton-bales laid in sand ; while the magazines and the 
ramparts called respectively for the same laborious work. On 
the ramparts of the sea-face especially massive traverses and mer- 


Ions wore constructed with sand brought in bags on the shoul- 
ders up the spiral stairs, fully thirty-five feet above the level of 
the parade. On the exterior of the gorge mueteiieavy work of 
the same kind was done. When the period oftio^essant re|)airing 
of damages set in, the sand of the parade had been exhausteil 
to a depth of four feet, and new material w^V'tequired. This 
depended on smooth water, good weather, and the limits of har- 
bor transportation, which were very serious drawbacks. Oilen- 
tiraes, the only material for repair was the wet sand washed up 
ground, the base of the fort's walls and gathered under heavy 
fire with frequent casualties. The fiction of Fort Sumter's be- 
ing protected by the spontaneous or fortuitous piling of its own 
d6bris bas been {>ointed out and corrected in these |>ages. (See 
page 134.) Foresight contrived and hard work executed* the 
plans of defense. If to any one precaution more than another 
the fort may be said to have owed its preservation, it was to the 
timely filling of the rooms of the gorge.* Thi.s gave an inde- 
structible backing to the debris which fell and lodged with- 
out, but which was yet constantly disturbed and largely wasted 
by the enemy's fire, the rain and winds, and the action of the 
waves. The gorge, thus strengthened and maintained by fre- 
quent additions of fresh material, was the one great, ruling 
protection of the fort against the breaching-batteries of Morris 
Island.* Against assault the obstructions nightly placed on the 
exterior slopes and regularly taken in before daybreak have betm 
described. Casualties were constantly occurring in the perfbrm- 
SLUce of this especial service. A boom of logs was maintained 
off the south-eastern angle of the fort. 

(6.) The severity and duration of the bombardments, three 
principal and eight minor, must be rememl)ered. Rec^irds of 
the firing may be found in the Apjiendix. Based on these and 
an estimate made by General Beaur^ard (Military Opcraiiom, 
vol. li. page 127), the total weight of metal (land and naval fire) 

^ Seventeen rooms, eighteen feet six inches square : eight were eleven feet 
and nine were fourteen feet high — a labor of three weeks, night and day, for 
three hundre<i men. 

* "The heap of rubbish at the gorge looks invincible." {Memoir of DtiU- 
gren, Diai^^ October 27, 1863.) 


thrown agaiast Fort Sumter while defended by the Confederates 
must have been in the neighborhood of thirty-five hundred tons. 
If from this total the average percentage of missing pn)jectiles 
be deducted, the remainder, twenty-four hundred tons, will rep- 
resent the weight of metal striking the fort. The destructive- 
ness of the fire may be measured by a few facts. When Rear- 
Admiral DuPont attacke<i, two shells, XV- and Xl-inch, passed 
entirely through the weakest part of the sc«rp-wall, each by its 
own penetration, and burst in the interior of the fort. During 
Major-General Gillniore's first bombanlment, after the demoli- 
tion of the brick fort was technically accomplished, the eifect of 
one heavy rifle-shell, on the 30th of August, was to bring down, 
"at one fall, four rami>art arches on the north-east front, with 
terreplein, platforms, and guns." Later, the wall and casemates 
along the entire sea-face were battered down to the lower em- 
brasures, about five feet above tide, although a backing of sand 
remained in the shape of a parapet, with a thin crest in places 
only fifteen or twenty feet high. The duration of the three 
principal and eight minor bombardments was altogether one 
hundred and fifty-seven days and one hundred and sixteen 
nights. But for a peri(xl of one hundred and twenty-three 
additional days and nights the fort may \ye stiid to have been 
under fire, though it was irregular. A determined and often 
destructive fire would be opened upon the wharf after dark, 
when it was suspe(^ted that the boats were arriving from the city ; 
so hazanlous was the communication. The total length of time 
that Fort Sumter was actually under fire l)etwoen the 7th of 
April, 1863, and the 17th of Februarj^ 1865, when it was 
evacuated, was two hundred and eighty days, there having been 
three months in 1863 and two in 1865 when there was no firing 
upon the fort. The casualties in all that time were 319. Deduct 
the casualties of the accident when the magazine was exploded 
on the 11th of December, 1863, and the total, rwluced to 267, 
appears very moderate indeed, considering the |)eriod of time, 
the weight of metal thrown, and the sometimes crowded state 
of the fort. The troops of the garrison proper were kept mostly 
in quarters, but suffered occasionally there, and constantly when 
expof^ed on guard-duty at night. The working force of the en- 



gineers, consisting of negroes mad a gang of white mechanics 
who were detailed soldiers^ w&9 exposed, repair ing damages 
under fire, more constantly than the garrison, and it suffered 
in proportion. 

(7.) The merits and demerits of the attack should be sum- 
marized, as should be also those of the defense; The merits of 
the attack will vary considerably as viewed from Fort Sumter in 
the one case, and from Charleston harbor in the other. They 
will vary, again, as regarded from the land or water, the part 
taken by the army or the navy. It is diflBcult to treat this topic 
briefly. Let it suffice that Major-Greneral Gillmore must have 
had for his object in the descent on Morris Island either the cap- 
ture of Fort Sumter alone or of the fort with the harbor and city 
together. Giving him full credit for demolishing the fort in one 
week's bombardment, the question remains, Why were 2400 men 
killed and wounded from his command on Morris Island without 
any military necessity at all, so far as Sumter was concerned? 
His main lass was in connection with Battery Wagner, a work 
practically of no value to Fort Sumter after breaching-batteries 
were established by him capable of demolishing Fort Sumter 
over the head of Wagner — ^the citadel over the head of the 
advanced work — as they readily did a fortnight before the 
evacuation of Wagner. Nor could that sacrifice of men be 
explained by any advantage to be gained with r^ard to the 
city and harbor. The siege of Wagner and the demolition of 
Fort Sumter had their little circumscribed theatre of war on 
Morris Island, a cifc/-rf<?-«ac, within which the Union troops shut 
themselves, and into which a superior strategy would never have 
taken them except for diversion. There was skill of the highest 
kind exhibited in the breaching of Fort Sumter and in the slow 
siege of Battery Wagner, but it had as little to do with the cap- 
ture of Sumter and Charleston as the blackboard demonstration 
of a problem by a cadet at West Point. 

Nor had it anything to do with the effectiveness of the block- 
ade, as is advanced by General Gillmore (Operational note on 
page 66), but inconsistently so, by his own admission that prior 
to the evacuation of Fort Wagner the ships of the fleet could 
pass and repass that fort without any serious molestation by 


day, and could certainly station themselves along the whole 
channel by night (Operations y note on page 65. "A glance at 
the chart will show." See also pages 42, 43.) Nor " to save val- 
uable time " (page 43), inasmuch as the sites of these breaching- 
Imtteries had been two weeks in possession of the Union force 
before the general determined to use them. Had ground been 
broken there on July 1 1th, the day after* the descent on Morris 
Island, the demolition of Sumter would have been accomplished 
two weeks earlier than it was. 

Much nearer to a solution came the well-aimed but badly- 
executed attack by Major-General Foster on Fort Johnson in 
the following year. 

The negliect of both the army and the navy commanders to 
stop the communication between Cumming's Point and Charles- 
ton was something graver than an oversight ; it was a perpetuated 
blunder. The thing could have been done : its possibility was 
almost demonstrated by the general, and it could "have been easily 
made practicable by the rear-admiitil. The former saw its 
importance and frequently urged it upon the latter, but it was 
never done. (Appendix, page xcii). The immense advantages 
possessed by the Union fleet over the naval force and transporta- 
tion of the harbor could have been turned to account one week 
after the de9(?ent on Morris Island, and its Confederate garrison 
could have been starved into capitulation. Two flotillas, one 
worked every night from Vincent's Creek, the other from the 
fleet lying ofl* Morris Island co-operating with it, could have 
settled the possession of Cumming's Point without the bloody 
repulses before Wagner, without the long delay of the siege, 
and with the 4clat of a captured garrison. 

The naval operations before Charleston were of the highest 
value to those conducted by land. General Gillmore, while 
fighting his way on Morris Island, is found to be very often en- 
tirely dependent, by his own despatches, on Rear- Admiral Dahl- 
gren for support, relief, and success. If estimated by the ex- 
penditure of ammunition, the greater part of the naval service 
was connected with the occupation of Morris Island by the 
army — a rather unprofltable undertaking. A small part only 
of its power was directed upon Fort Sumter and Sullivan's 


Island. The firing of April 7, 1863, was at too long range 
tt) be a thorough test. The correspondence of Rear-Adiuiral 
DuPont with the Navy Department and of Rear-Admiral Dahl- 
gren with Major-Gcneral Gillmore (to be found in the Appen- 
dix) will satisfy the reader that while the latter was continually 
under obligation to the former, better work and better fighting 
were done by the Union navy with inferior iron-clads on tlie 
rivers of the West than before the defenses of Charleston liar- 
bor. And yet so much more could have been done against Fort 
Simiter directly by the armored vessels coming in by night and 
wejiring away its walls and the spirit of its garrison by slow 
l)ersistent firing than was done on only two occasions, that Gen- 
eral Beauregard has given it as his deliberate opinion that in 
this way alone the fort might at an early date have been destroyed 
and captured. (See note, Chapter IV., page 77.) This had 
nothing to do with passing into the inner harbor : the obstnio- 
tions and torpedoes, it has been seen, deterred from that. It is 
apparent, under all the circumstances, that the Union navy was 
more distinguished for its co-operative service with the army 
before Charleston than for any achievement of its own in this 

(8.) The merits and demerits of the defense require perhaps 
a less partial witness than the writer. Nevertheless, it should 
be conceded that tlie artillery practice of the forts and batteries 
was equal to the finest ever known. Mr. Swinton, the historian, 
an eye-witness of the action of 7th of April, 1863, from his 
station on board tlie flagship has left his testimony (see page 61)» 
and many naval officers have reported the same. The powder 
used in this action was of the superior quality manufactured by 

* The eflfectivetiess of the purely naval attack on the forts at Port Royal 
Entrance, South Carolina, in October, 1861, compared wiih the scant results 
before C'harleston in the years which followed, can only be accounted for by the 
inferiority of the fortifications at Port Royal — guns crowded together cti 6ar- 
beffej without traverses, acwrding to old methods— and by the moral effect of 
obstructions at Charleston. The Confederate engineers learned, by costly 
experience at Port Royal and elsewhere in the first year of the war, how to 
build sea-coast batteries. Rear-Admiral DuPont brotight to Charleston heavier 
guns and stronger vessels, by far, than he had taken to Port Royal. The Con- 
federates had no heavier guns to oppose him, though they did have more of 
them, than at Port Royal, and chiefly within works of better constmction. 


Colonel G. W. Bains at the Augutita works, and it would have 
done better still with guns and missiles more nearly equal to 
those of the attack. Against XV-inch and Xl-inch smooth- 
bores and 8-inch and 10-inch rifles the Confwlerate artillerists 
could fight with nothing heavier than 10-inch smoothbores and 
7-inch rifles. When all the risks of moving and shipping 
powder and loaded shells, sometimes necessarily under fire, and 
all the fatigues of the arduous service of the troops both at 
Battery Wagner and Fort Sumter, are considered ; when the 
vigilance and readiness of the garrisons to repel assault are 
remembered ; when the repulses which followed two assaults at 
Wagner, one at Sumter, and one at Gregg, are borne in mind ; 
when the difficult but successful evacuation of Morris Island 
and the heavy naval attack on Sullivan's Island are fully esti- 
mated, — the qualities of Confederate officers and soldiery are 
seen to have been at their best in the defense of Charleston. 
The inventive genius also showed itself in the daring essays 
of torpedo-warfare ; the patient and cunning labor of the spoil- 
ers of the wrecked Keokuk deservei5 all honor ; the skill and 
nerve of those who dug out, threw down, and took away by 
night from Fort Sumter the heavy guns on which the defense 
of the city was again to depend, prove bold enterprise, if any- 
where, to have been displayed around Charleston harbor ; while, 
from the narrative as a whole, it must be concluded that the de- 
fense of Fort Sumter owed more to foresight and timely prep- 
aration than to any "burrowing in the ruins" after the ruins 
were made. 

There ap}iears to have been some neglect of opportunity at 
Battery Wagner when the mortars were so feebly plied from that 
ix)st upon the besiegers (p. 154). Major-General Gillmore puts 
his finger upon this omission (Operations, pages 128, 129),^ and 
complaint was made of it during the siege by two or three of 
the commanders of the fort. The scarcity of ammunition and 
the unsuccessful applications of the commanding general for 
the right kind of mortars (coehorns) have been given as rea- 
sons why the firing was not more vigorous. 

* See General Beauregard's reply to General Gillmore in Norih American 
i^eiiCTr, July. 1886, 


The loss of Morris Island may be charged among the de- 
merits of the defense, since it so appeared to the Confederate 
Secretary of War and to Brigadier-General Ripley. But a fair 
examination of the statements made by General Beaureganl 
and Brigadier-General Ripley will serve to explain, if not 
excuse, the loss. The enforced reduction of lalx)r' and troops 
against (ieneral Beauregard's urgent appeals; his mature and 
scientific opinion as to the superior claim of James Island to Ikj 
defended, if necessary, at the expense of Morris Island ; and 
Brigadier-General Ripley's admissions in answer to his com- 
mander's categorical questions, — all taken together prove that 
some sacrifice was made ne<x»ssary in the defense of Charleston 
harbor. The temporary demolition of Fort Sumter and the 
permanent evacuation of Morris Island were the sacrifices : as 
to the shelling of the city of Charleston, that was a game not 
paid for by the cannon expended in doing it. But while the 
Confederate sacrifice was one of position and ground, with no 
great loss, the Union sacrifice was conspicuously one of human 
lives, without any gain of position commensurate with that loss. 
(See further " The Strategic Value of Morris Island," Appen- 
dix E, and the chief engineer's report of January 14, 1864, 
Appendix F, page Ixxiv.) 

(9.) Three mast critical periods in the defense of Fort Sum- 
ter deserve to be recalled : 

(a) The heijinning of Seplembery 1863^ when the fort was de- 
prived of all offensive power as an artillery post, and the ques- 
tion of holding it or abandoning it was directly to be met. At 
this crisis nothing but the decision of Greneral Beauregard, 
endorsing the opinion of Colonel Gilmer and Lieutenant-Col- 
onel Harris, chief engineers, and opposing the opinion of other 
officers in the case, prolonged the defense of Fort Sumter. 

(6) The middle of December ^ 1863, when the results of the 
explosion of the magazine and the burning out of the quarters, 

* "The only labor available for the works on the south end of Morris Isl- 
and was the details of soldiers from Colonel Graham's regiment — say of 100 
to 150 men daily — which Captain Cheves reported were so steadily employed 
as to prejndice their drill and other camp duties/' {Cdonel Han^is, Chirf En- 
gineer's RepotU) ♦ 


beiug the entire line of lower casemates on the western front, 
were so serious as to imperil the further holding of the fort. 
At this crisis nothing but the advantage of having no annoy- 
ance from the enemy's guns for two weeks saved the garrison 
from two evils that might have been fetal — viz. disease among 
tliose who could find some crowded shelter, and death among 
the remainder who could find no shelter at all. 

{c) The months of July and Auffosty 1864, when the fort was 
8ul)jected to the third principal bombardment, the most pro- 
longed of the three bombardments of that class. At this period 
the thin crest of the sea-front was worn away to its weakest 
condition. A direct fire upon it from the fleet, supplementing 
the slant fire from the batteries of Morris Island and steadily 
sustained for a week, would have uncovered the whole parade. 
But the actual damages of this long bombardment proceeded 
entirely from the land guns, and were inflicted upon other 
parts of the fort, where they were duly repaired. This lefl 
no time for repairing the sea-face, if that had been likewise 
damaged. It escaped injury by the oversight of the enemy, 
and in consequence the defense was prolonged. 

(10.) A statement of the resistance and defense of Fort Sum- 
ter, as compared with other forts in the Confederate States and 
elsewhere, deserves to be considered : 

Port Royal, South Carolina, November 7, J861. — Two 
earthwork forts, mounting 43 guns, among which were none 
heavier than two 10-inch and three 8-inch smoothboi'es, were 
silenced and evacuated after four hours' firing by the Union fleet 
of 17 sail, carrying about 200 guns, IX-, X-, Xl-inch smooth- 
Iwres, with some 16-, 20-, and 30-pounder Parrot rifles ; range 
during action, 800 to 600 yards. 

Fort Pulaski, Savannah River, Georgia, April 10-11, 
186£, — A casemated brick fort, of the same period as Fort 
Sumter and very like it, except in having only one tier of 
casemates ; garrisoned with 385 men ; armed with five 10-inch 
and nine 8-inch smoothbore columbiads, three 42-pounders, 
twenty 32-pounder8, two 24-pounders (Blakely), and five mor- 
tars, making a total of 39 guns and 5 mortars. Union bat- 
ten^ on land, with average range of 1700 yards, mounting five 


rifle cannon of James's make (84-, 64-, and 48-pounclers), with 
five Parrott rifles (30-pounders), and 'ten columbiads of 8- and 
10-ineh ; a total of 20 guns and 16 mortars. After a bombaixl- 
ment of a day and a half, total shots fired 5275, with a breach- 
ing cannonade of nine and a half hours, the fort surrendered, 
its magazine Imng in immediate danger. Previous breaching 
had been confined to 500, 700, and 1000 yards : this was done 
at 1700 yards. 

Fort McAllister, Ogeechee River, Georgia, March 3, 186S. 
— This well-built earthwork, mounting eight guns, of which 
one 10-ineh and one 8-inch, smoothbores, were the heaviest, 
was engaged for eight hours by three monitors carrying 
XV-inch, Xl-inch (smoothbore), .and 8-inch rifles (total six 
guns), firing about 200 rounds at range of 1400 to 1900 
yards. The results were, one monitor's " deck badly injured " 
and 34 hits received. The fort suflTered " no material damage 
nor any that could not be repaired in one night." One gun 

Fort Su\rrER, Charlestmi Harbor, April 7, 1863-February 
18, 1865. — A casemated brick fort, mounting 80 guns, the 
heaviest being four 10-inch smoothbores, two 9-inch, eight 8- 
inch smoothbores, and two 7-inch rifles, garrisoned by 550 men, 
was attacked April 7, 1863, by in)n-clad squadron of 9 vessels, 
carrying 32 guns, XV-, Xl-inch smoothbore, and 8-inch rifles. 
SupiK)rted by other works, the fort repulsed the squadron in 
action of two and a half hours, disabling four and sinking one 
of the vessels. Only 37 guns of its armament were fired against 
23 guns of the squadron, the fort firing 831 times, the vessels 
139 times. The sea-wall of the fort was penetrated entirely in 
two places, but repaired with backing over night : other injuries 
slight. The attack was not renewed. 

August 17-24, 1863, breaching-batteries on land, out of reach 
of the fort's guns, demolish, and by September 1st silenw, it. 
The guns used for breaching were Parrott rifles, 100-, 200-, and 
300-i>ounders, and did their work in one week at the unpre- 
cedented range of from 3400 to 4300 yards, firing percussion 
shells and bolts. 

On September 8, 1 863, the surrender of the fort was demanded 


and refused. That night the fort repulsed a naval assault, taking 
115 prisoners and four barges. 

Subsequently, while enduring two greater and eight minor 
bombardments, and suffering the injuries of an exploded mag- 
azine with a disastrous burning of quarters, the fort was grad- 
ually transformed into a shapely and powerful earthwork, armed 
with five heavy guns in casemates and thoroughly protected 
against assault. It continued to be held until the whole coast 
was abandoned by tlie Confederates near the close of the war, 
and so it was never surrendered. 



Total number of projectiles fired against it 46,053 

Total weight in tons of metal thrown against it (estimate) 3,500 

Total number of days under greater bombardments 117 

Total number of days under minor bombardments 40 

Total number of days under fire, steady and desultory 280 

Total number of casualties (52 killed, 267 wounded) 319 


Total number of projectiles fired against it 18,491 

Total weight in tons of metal thrown against it (estimate) 1,416 

Duration of siege (days) 58 

Total number of casualties (July-September) 318 

This loss is not inclusive of that in the two assaults and the landing on 
Morris Island. 

Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay, Alabama, August. 5-23, 186i- — 
A large brick fort with a strong water-battery and some out- 
works, the whole armed with 47 guns, among which were eleven 
10-inch and three 8-in(;h smoothbores, and eleven 8-, 6-, and 
5-inch rifle cannon ; garrison, 500 men (an armament much 
more powerful than Fort Sumter's). In the naval attack of 
August 5th, made by 4 monitors and 14 wooden ships, carrying 
158 guns, XV-, XI-, and IX-inch smoothbores and 8- and 6- 
inch rifles, the fort fired 491 projectiles, being assisted by the 
iron-clad ram Tennessee and three wooden gunboats, carrying 12 
heavy guns (7-inch and 6-inch rifles). The fleet forced the pas- 
sage into, the bay with some loss. On August 8th a summons 



to surrender was received and refused. The Union army then 
combined with the navy, establishing land-batteries on the rear 
at short range (12 guns and 16 mortars), and the two forces 
bombarderl the fort from all sides, day and night, for twenty- 
four hours, August 22d-23d. The walls were nearly breached. 
All heavy guns save two were disabled. The fort was set on 
fire twice and the garrison much exhausted, so that explosion 
of the magazine was threatened. Surrender was made on August 
23d (the nineteenth day). The guns were protected by traverses, 
but there appears to have been scant bombproof protection for 
the garrison. 

Fort Fisher, Cape Fear Entrance, North Carolina, January 
13-15 y 1865, — ^A fortification of sand, not an enclosed work, but 
of extensive trace and massive proportions. Of two principal 
fronts, that on the land side was 500 yards long and mounted 
17 guns; that on the sea side was nearly 1500 yards long and 
mounted 20 guns. The latter were the heaviest, being eight 
10-inch and four 8-inch smoothbores, one 10-inch rifle, three 
8-inch, one 7-inch, and three 6-inch rifles. The Union fleet, 
numbering 55 vessels of war, among them being five iron-clads, 
was the most powerful naval force ever assembled, as it carried 600 
guns of the heaviest calibre then in use. A division of the 
army accompanied it in transports for purposes of co-operation. 
At the end of two days' (about twenty-eight hours') bombard- 
ment the works were assaulted by two columns, one from the 
navy on the sea-face, the other from the army on the land-face. 
The former was repulsed ; the latter after nearly five hours' hard 
fighting, much of it hand to hand and assisted by the heavy 
shelling from the fleet, was successful at ten o'clock on the night 
of January 15, 1865. The fire of such a fleet had the effect of 
driving the garrison finally under shelter of the bombproofe; 
but, though one-half of the guns had been rendered unservice- 
able, the works were pronounced of about the same strencrth as 
before the bombardment (report of Lieutenant-Colonel Cora- 
stock, U. 8. Engineers); while the comment of the rear-admiral 
commanding, in his report to Washington, is here extracted: 
" I was in Fort Malakoff* a few days after it surrendered to the 
Fren3h and English. The combined armies of the two nations 


were many months capturing that stronghold, and it won't com- 
pare, either in size or strength, with Fort Fisher/' 

The brave defenders of Fort Fisher needed only a timely 
reinforcement of fresh troops to have repulsed the assault. They 
had reason to expect it, but it never came. They were com- 
manded by Major-General W. H. C. Whiting, who had also 
directed the entire construction of the works. He died of 
wounds received in the defense. (The above account relates 
only to the second bombardment, the fii'st, which was about 
three weeks before, having been a failure.) 

From the annals of European wars the following notes are 
gathered in further illustration of the history of defense : 

On October 17, 1854, the allied fleet off Sebastopol attacked 
the forts in two grand divisions, the French attacking the forts 
on the south side of the entrance to the harbor, the English those 
on thie north. The two fleets were engaged four hours. The 
French fleet, carrying about 600 guns, but fighting one-half, was 
opposed by three Russian forts fighting, altogether, but 73 guns, 
at the long range of from 1600 to 1800 yards. The English 
fleet, carrying about 500 guns (none heavier than 68-pounders), 
engaged Russian forts and batteries fighting 80 guns, at from 800 
to 1200 yards. Thus the allied guns, a total of 1100, advanced 
to attack 153 of the Russian guns, being nearly eight to one, 
but the result was that they did little or no harm to the forts as 
regards damaging casemates. Two of the English ships were 
disabled and two others heavily punished. Kinglake, the his- 
torian, writes : " If this was the heaviest sea-cannonade that up 
to that time had been known, it was also, in proportion to its 
greatness, the most harmless." The casualties of the Allies were 
four times as great as those of the Russians, and the result, 
altc^ether, was a discouragement for the former. 

Although Fort Sumter could hardly be said to have been be- 
sieged, the defense of Strasburg in 1870 is of interest in relation 
to it The siege lasted fifty days, the bombardment not more 
than thirty-one days. These figures correspond rather singu- 
larly with those of the siege of Fort Wagner on Morris Island. 


The fortress was surrendered to the Germans September 27, 1870. 
The French loss was about 2800 ; the German, about 800. In 
the case of Fort Wagner the proportion was reversed ; the be- 
siegers lost upward of 2400, the besieged only 500 men. The 
German loss was but one-fiftieth of their entire force ; the Union 
loss was nearly one-third of tlieir entire force. The French loss 
was about one-sixth of their garrison ; the Confederate loss was 
more than a third of theirs. 

From a due consideration of the many facts which have been 
summarized under the foregoing heads, it is hoped that all minds 
will be enabled to form a true estimate of the Confederate defense 
of Charleston harbor. After all, the verdict of posterity will be 
the surest. It may not yet be full time for mature opinion, but 
already the passions of the combatants have cooled and their 
judgment of one another is becoming yearly more just and more 
generous. The North has impressed the South with respect for 
the national idea — ^a motive new and strange to the latter, but 
destined iii the providence of God to lead both sections, united 
in one great people, to higher and grander achievements as the 
years roll on. In that period of national greatness it may happen 
that due credit will yet be given to the formative and conserva- 
tive value of Southern principles, as old as the foundation of 
the Union itself. 

The once Confederate States will never, for their part, let tlio 
record of Charleston harbor be lost from the volume of their 
common history, while South Carolina will surely Ire justific^l 
for the sentiments with which her children to remotest genera- 
tions will regard the conduct of this defense. Through all tlu' 
State's experiences, from colonial days to the present time, it 
may be seen that her difficulty has been made her opportunity. 
The story of this determined resistance will but emphasize the 
lesson. It did not end in triumph, but it has left behind a sot- 
ting glory as of the western skies, a blazonry of heroism where 
gold and purple serve to tell of valor and endurance, and the 
crimson hue is emblem of self-sacrifice in a cause believed to Ix? 

Major JOHN JOHNSON, (Confederate Engineers). 
Engineer in Charge Fort Sumter, 1863-65. 

Published by unanimous request of 

Thr Survivors' Association of Charlrston District, 

July 25th, 1890. 





January 9. The transport-steamer Star of the West, carry- 
ing troops and stores to relieve the garrison of Fort Sum- 
ter, was stopped and turned back by the firing of a small 
battery on Morris Island, manned by the cadets of the 
South Carolina Military Academy, under command of 
Major P. F. Stevens. 

March 3. Brigadier-General G. T. Beauregard assumes com- 
mand in Charleston. 

April 12-14. Bombardment of Fort Sumter, with surrender 
of the post by Major Robert Anderson, commanding, to 
the Confederate troops under Brigadier-General Beaure- 

May 11. Blockade of harbor b^un by steam-frigate Ni- 

August 21. Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley assigned to com- 
mand of Department of South Carolina. 

October 12. Messrs. Mason and Slidell run the blockade, 
escaping to Cuba. 

October 26. Confederate steamer Nashville escapes from the 

November 5. General R. E. Lee assigned to command De- 
partment of South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida. 

November 7. Bombardment and capture of the forts at Port 


Royal Entrance by Union fleet of seventeen sail under 

Flag-OfBcer S. F. DuPont. Confederates, under Brigadier- 

Greneral T. F. Drayton, eflect retreat to the mainland. 
November 8. General Lee assumes command of dejMirtment 
November 16. Captain Duncan N. Ingraham assigned to duty 

as flag-oflicer naval forces in Charleston harbor. 
December 17. Capture of Confederate picket-guard (6) on 

Chisholm's Island, Coosaw River. Evacuation of Rock- 

ville, Wadmalaw Island. 
December 20. The first "Stone Fleet'' sunk by the Federals 

on the bar of Charleston, off Maffitt's Channel. 


January 1. Engagements at Page's Point, Port Royal Ferry, 
Coosaw River, between land and naval forces. 

January 20. Second " Stone Fleet " sunk on Charleston bar. 

January 22-25. Expedition to Edisto Island under Colonel P. 
F. Stevens, Holcombe Legion. 

February 10. Skirmish on Barnwell Island. 

February 11. Edisto Island partly occupied by Union forces. 

March 3. General Lee called to Richmond, Va. 

March 14. Major-General J. C. Pemberton assumes command 
of the Confederate troops of the Department of South Car- 
olina and Georgia. 

March 15. Major-General D. Hunter assigned to command of 
Union forces in Department of the South. 

March 19-24. Reconnoiasance on May River, S. C. 

March 20-24. Operations near Blufflon, S. C. 

March 29. Affair on Edisto Island. Major F. G. Palmer of 
Holcombe Legion, with Major A. C. Garlington, captures 
19 of the Union force. 

April 5. Complete occupation of Edisto Island by Union forces. 

April 14. Reconnoi&sance of Seabrook's Island by Union forces 
covered by a gunboat. 

April 19. Skirmish on Edisto Island. 

Aprtl 29. Engagements at Pineberry, Willtown, and Wliite 
Point, between Union gunboats and land forces. 

May 5. Martial law proclaimed in Ciiarleston. 


May 12. Disarmament of Cole's Island. 

May 13. Abduction of steamer Planter from the wharf at 

May 20-21. Federal gunboats occupy the Stono above Cole's 
Island and Battery Island, shelling them, and capturing a 
picket-guard on the latter. 

May 25. Floating battery, Captain F. N. Bonneau, stationed 
near Dixon's Island, engaged and drove off a gunboat in 

May 26. Brigadier-Greneral R. S. Ripley transferred to Vir- 

May 29. Demonstration of Union troops, under Colonel B. C. 
Christ, being a full raiment, with artillery, on the Charles- 
ton and Savannah Railroad ; met near Pocotaligo and pre- 
vented from striking the railroad by a small Confederate 
force (186 cavalry) under Colonel W. S. Walker, after a 
skirmish of two hours : Union loss, 1 1 ; Confederate, 9. 

June 2. Gunboat in Folly River shelled Legar^'s Point and 
Secessionville, head-quarters of Brigadier-Greneral S. R. 
Gist, commanding James Island. Fire returned by Con- 
federate batteries. Enemy landed in force and drove in 
pickets from southern extremity of James Island. Union 
force under Brigadier-General I. I. Stevens. 

June 3. Skirmish at Sol. Legar^'s place below Secessionville, 
James Island. Three guns of Confederate light battery 
mired and captured ; 22 Union prisoners made by a charge 
under Lieutenant-Colonel E. Capers. The movement, a 
reconnoissance in force made by a brigade supported by 
gunboats in Stono, was thwarted. 

June 6. Brigadier-Greneral William Duncan Smith assumed 
command of James Island. 

June 7. Skirmish on John's Island. 

June 8. Skirmish with rifle-pits in advance at Secessionville. 
Capture of a small Confederate picket. Union force re- 
tired under fire of field-gun and floating battery. 
June 10. Confederates reconnoitre in force on James Island, 
with loss to Forty-seventh Georgia volunteers of 60 to 
70 men. 


June 14-15. Skirmishing continued. Fire also opened upon 
the post of Secessionville by a battery of Parrott guns in 
advance of the Union position. Brigadier-Greneral N. G. 
Evans assumes command of James Island. 

June 16. Battle of Secessionville. Union troops under Briga- 
dier-Greneral H. W. Benham, commanding three divisions, 
to the number of 7000 men ; one division assaulted the 
work, garrisoned by 750 men, under command of Colonel 
T. G. Lamar, and met with a disastrous repulse, losing 
nearly 700 men; Confederate loss, 204, of which 32 were 
in the advance movement under Brigadier-General Hagood. 

June 21. Engagement at Simmons's Bluff; two gunboats shell- 
ing rifle-pits and light battery (Marion). 

June 25-27. Union gunboats in Soutli Santee; skirmish at 
Blake's place. 

July 4-7. Union troops evacuate James Island. 

August 19. Martial law in Charleston suspended. 

August 21. Boat-expedition under Captain Stephen Elliott of 
Beaufort Artillery and Captain J. H. Mickler, Eleventh 
South Carolina volunteers, captured a company of the 
Third New Hampshire regiment, picketing on Pinckney 

September 24. Major-General Pemberton superseded by Gene- 
ral Beauregard. 

September 30. Expedition of Union force against Blutifton. 

October 16. Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley resumes command 
of First Military District, South Carolina. 

October 22-23. Second action, Frampton Place, near Pocotal- 
igo. A Union force of 4500 men, under Brigadier-Gen- 
eral J. M. Brannan, supported by gunboats on the tribu- 
taries of Broad River, advanced with skirmishing from 
Mackay's Point toward Old Pocotaligo. Here they were 
met and driven back to their gunboats by Brigadier-Gen- 
eral W. S. Walker. Union loss, 340 ; Confederate loss, 
163. Near CoOvSawhatchie the railroad was struck by the 
enemy, but with trifling damage, and his force was pressed 
back by Colonel C. J. Colcock, commanding cavalry. 
The iron-clad rams Palmetto State and Chicora were at 


the end of this year completed and put on duty in Charles- 
ton harbor, each mounting "four guns. 


January 30. Capture of Federal steamer Isaac Smith (eleven 
guns) in Stono River by combination of light artillery and 
infantry in ambuscade, but without parapets, on James and 
John's Islands, the expedition being under command of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph A. Yates, First South Carolina 
Artillery. Prisoners, 11 ofl&oers and 108 men, among whom 
were 24 casualties. 

Januar}' 31. Attack before daylight on blockading squadron, 
off the Charleston bar, by Flag-Offioer D. N. Ingraham, 
commanding the iron-clad gunboats Chicora and Palmetto 
State. Two of the blockaders were temporarily disabled — 
casualties 47 — ^and surrendered, but afterward escaped in 
the darkness. The Union ships were driven off during 
several hours from four to five miles outside the bar, but 
no raising of the blockade occurred. 

February 1. Skirmish on BulPs Island between a small body 
of Confederate troops (50), commanded by Captain Charles 
T. Haskell, Jr., First South Carolina (regular) Infantr}', 
and a force of twice the number from the blockading gun- 
boat Flambeau. 

February 13. Three steamers with cotton run the blockade, and 
one enters from Nassau on this night. 

February 21. Gunboat Flambeau bearing flag of truce fired 
on from Fort Moultrie. 

February 25. Capture of a Confederate lieutenant and six men 
on the wreck of a blockade-runner at North Santee En- 

March 7. Fortification of southern end of Morris Island begun 
by the Confederates. 

March 12. Dash across Skull Creek, Broad River, by Con- 
federates, capturing an officer and some men of the Signal 

March 28. Occupation of Cole's and Folly Islands by Union 
forces under Major-General D. Hunter. 


April 7. Attack on Fort Sumter by Rear- Admiral DuPont, 
commanding the iron-clad squadron of nine vessels; en- 
gagement lasted two hours and thirty minutes, but five out 
of the eight vessels in action were disabled in from forty- 
five to sixty minutes ; one sank next morning. The fort, 
with garrison of 650 men, commanded by CJolonel Rhett, 
First South Carolina Artillery, was seriously damaged in 
a few places, but made ready to renew the fight next day. 
The casualties on both sides were slight : Union, 23 ; Con- 
federate, 6. 

April 9. Destruction of the armed steamer George Washing- 
ton in Coosaw River by Confederate light batteries. 

April 10-11. Night soouting-expedition to Folly Island, with 
capture of a picket by Confederates, the island under com- 
mand of Brigadier-General I. Vogdes. 

April 27. Schooner burnt by Union expedition to Murray's 

May 4. Expedition by Union gunboats to Murray's Inlet: 
Union casualties, 4. 

May 10. Unsuccessful expedition with Confederate spar-tor- 
pedo boats against monitors in North Edisto. 

May 31. Union reconnoissanoe of James Island by small land 
force, supported by gunboats in Stono. 

June 7-8. Night scouting-expedition to .Long Island in front 
of Secessionville ; Lieutenant Samuel Dibble, Twenty-fifth 
South Carolina volunteers, taken prisoner by the Union 

June 11-12. The wreck of blockade-runner Ruby shelled by 
light guns on Folly Island ; replied to by Captain J. C. 
Mitchel, commanding works at south end of Morris Island. 

June 12. Major-General Hunter relieved by Brigadier-Gene- 
ral Gillmore in command of Department of the South. 

July 6. Rear- Admiral DuPont relieved of command of the 
South Atlantic Blockading Squadron by Rear-Admiral 

July 8-9. Night scouting-expedition to Folly Island, from 
Morris Island, by Captain C. T. Haskell, discovering flo- 
tilla moored and ready for crossing. 


July 10. Demonstrations on James Island and the Charleston 
and Savannah Railroad. Descent on Morris Island by 
Union troops (3000) and capture of works at the south- 
ern end; four monitors assisting largely in the attack. 
Confederate loss, 294; Union, 106. 

July 11. Ansault of Battery Wagner by Union troops under 
Brigadier-General Strong, met and repulsed by garrison 
under Colonel Graham. Confederate loss, 12; Union 
loss, 3»S9. Four monitors engaged Wagner for several 
hours after the assault. 

July 13. Union working-parties on first parallel, 1350 yards, 
in front of Wagner, shelled by guns and mortars of Bat- 
tery Gregg and Fort Sumter. Construction of flanking 
Confederate works begun on Shell Point, James Island 
(Battery Simkins). 

July 14—15. Colonel Graham relieved in command of Wagner 
by Brigadier-General Taliaferro. Sally from Battery Wagner 
under Major Rion, Seventh South Carolina battalion, driving 
the enemy's pickets out of their rifle-pits. 

July 15. Brigadier-General Hagood's reconnoi&sance of Union 
position on James Island. 

July 16. Confederates attack the enemy on James Island, 
obliging them to fall back to the cover of the gunboats 
in Stono : losses small. The Pawnee and Marblehead forced 
to change positions by well-placed field-guns. 

July 17. Union forces, land and naval, withdraw from Stono. 
All communication by daylight between Morris Island and 
Charleston intercepted henceforth by Union batteries firing 
upon Cumming's Point. 

July 18. Bombardment of Wagner by the combined forces, land 
and naval, from noon to dusk, with 42 siege- and field-guns 
and mortars, 6 iron-clads and 4 gunboats, carrying 46 guns 
more : in action about 70 guns, throwing heaviest weight 
of metal up to this date of operations : estimated firing, 14 
shots per minute. Brigadier-General Gillmore moved three 
brigades forward to the assault of Wagner : the first and 
second, being engaged, were repulsed with loss of 1500 to 
2000 men. Confederate loss by bon^bardment »nd assault 


was 174 killed and wounded. The garrison of Wagner 
(1000) commanded by Brigadier-General W. B. Taliaferro. 

July 19. Flag of truce sent to Wagner from the fleet declined. 

July 20. Combined fire upon Wagner resumed : its only 10- 
in(;h gun dismounted. Fort Sumter fired uiK)n by long- 
range 30-pounder rifles from land-battery on Morris Island 
(3500 yards), a few shells doing no damage, but wounding 
a drummer-boy. This was the first fire received from 
Morris Island. Work of filling up the officers' quarters 
on gorge with wet cotton-bales laid in sand was bt^un to- 
day ; also building of new wharf and gutting new sally- 
port 6n western front. 

July 21. Flag of truce from Greneral Gill more to Batten^ 
Wagner received by Greneral Hagood, commanding, but 
interrupted by firing from the fleet ; resumed on 22d ; new 
works erected by Greneral Gillraore. 

July 23. Brigadier-General Hagood relieved by Brigadier- 
General Taliaferro. Second parallel established — 870 yards 
from Wagner. 

July 24. Six iron-clads and four gunboats combine fire with 
batteries five hours upon Wagner; interrupted by ex- 
change of prisoners. Colonel Harris, chief engineer, reports 
Wagner not materially injured. Partial disarmament of 
Fort Sumter begins at this date, the fort firing slowly 
every day and night upon enemy's works in front of 

July 25. Another monitor joins the squadron, making six 
monitors, together with the New Ironsides. Light Par- 
rott rifles again fired upon Fort Sumter. The flanking 
batteries of James Island, together with sharpshooters in 
Wagner, annoy the Union working-parties on Morris 

July 28-31. Heavy combined firing upon Wagner, the New 
Ironsides taking part; the batteries also firing at night; 
General Gillmore constructing works for heavy long-range 
Parrott rifles, intended to breach Fort Sumter; working 
force there, numbering 323, engaged night and day strength- 
ening the fort. 


August 1—4. Wagner received a daily fire, chiefly naval, and 
maintained annoying fire 'of sharpshooters with Whitworth 
rifles and telescopic sights. Construction of the Marsh 
Battery, afterward known as " Swamp Angel," begun by 
General Gilhnore. ' The besiegers reinfijrced by 3000 

August 4—8. Capture of picket in Vincent's Creek by Confed- 
erate navy and army boats. At Fort Sumter mortar plat- 
forms completed in the parade for night-firing on Morris 
Island; the filling of upper and lower rooms of gorge 
(total, seventeen) completed ; construction of traverses and 
merlons on parapet of sea-face and gorge begun ; also build- 
ing up of sandbag work, to reinforce exterior of gorge, 
begun with material brought from the city. Wagner armed 
on sea-face with three heavy guns. Confederate steamer 
Juno, Lieutenant Phil. Porcher commanding, ran down 
and captured a launch with officer and 10 men off Fort 
Sumter (night 5th-6th). 

August 8-10. Third parallel opened — 540 yards from Wagner ; 
narrow front for operations increases difficulty. Calcium 
light used to discover Confederate communication at Cum- 
ming's Point. 

August 11. Before daylight Wagner, together with Sumter and 
the James Island batteries, opened so heavily on trenches 
as to stop entirely the working-parties for the first time in 
the siege. Heavy fire on Wagner during day. Calcium 
light again thrown on Cumming's Point prevented landing 
of supplies. The James Island lines ordered by General 
Beauregard to be abandoned in favor of an advanced line 
one half shorter, extending from Secession vi He to Dill's 
house on the Stono (Battery Pringle). 
AugUv«t 12. Fort Sumter received the first firing of heavy 
Parrott rifles, in practice to get the range, as they were 
mounted in the breaching-batteries of Morris Island. 
Effects on masonry in places very destructive. Small 
steamer Hibben, discharging at wharf, had her boiler 
exploded by a shell. Total firing, 18 ; total casualties, 11 


August 13. Land and naval practice on Fort Sumter. Total 
firing, 30; total casualties, 1 killed, 2 wounded. 

Aiigust 14. Practice of breaching-batteries as before ; 10 shots, 

August 16. Practice of breaching-batteries as before; 48 shot**. 
Engiueei's' working-force of laborers and mechanics, 350 to 
451), engaged day and night for six weeks, has converted 
the two faces of Fort Sumter nearest Morris Island into a 
compact, massive redan of sand, encased with brick, having 
a lieight of 40 feet and a general thickness of 25 feet, with 
a j)ortion of the gorge 35 to 40 feet thick. Upward of 
twenty guns have been removed from the armament since 
July, leaving but thirty-eight for the present service of the 
fort. Garrison numbers 5;)0 officers and men, under Colonel 
^.Ifred Rhett, a)nimanding. 

August 17. First day of first great bombardment of Fort 
Sumter, first pericxl. Total shots discharged at the fort 
from breaching-batteries (11 guns) and the fleet, 948; 
total casualties, 1 killed, 18 wounded. Firing suspended 
at nightfall or only desultory. Battery Wagner and Bat- 
tery Gregg under fire also from the batteries (siege) and the 
fleet (7 iron-clads, 7 gunboats). Wagner fought the fleet 
with three guns for more than an hour. Fleet-Captain G. 
W. Rodgers killed on the Weehawken ; Captain J. M. 
AVampler of the Engineers killed in Wj^gner. 

August 18. Second day, heavy firing (14 guns) continued on 
Fort Sumter ; casualties, 3. Wagner received fire of 3 iron- 
clads and 5 gunboats, besides the siege-batteries ; from the 
New Ironsides in these two days 805 shells discharged. 

August 19. Third day, 15 guns from breaching-batteries fired 
heavily on the fort; desultory firing during the night; 
casualties, 5. Appn)aches upon Wagner checked by sharp- 
shooting from the *^ ridge" picket-line and by flanking bat- 
teries of James Island. The New Ironsides alone shelled 
Wagner this day. 

August 20. Fourth day for Sumter; three new guns, one 
l^eing a 10-inch Parrott rifle (300-pounder), added to the 
breaching-batteries, made a total of 18 guns ; range, from 
3447 to 4290 yards. Casualties, 3 wounded. 25,000 


pounds of powder removed by night. Wagner shelled by 
New Ironsides and four gunboats. The Marsh Battery, 
designed to fire upon the city at 7900 yards, completed 

August 21. Fifth day for Sumter ; more powder (9700 pounds) 
removed to-night; casualties, 6. CJeneral Gillmore demands 
the surrender of Fort Sumter, with the immediate evacua- 
tion of Morris Island. Some unavoidable delay occurring, 
fire was opened on the city from the Marsh Battery before 
daylight of the 22d. The " ridge " in front of Wagner 
was assaulted without success. Captain Robert Pringle 
killed at Wagner to-day. 

August 22. Sixth day for Sumter ; only four guns left in ser- 
viceable condition ; main flagstaff falling, colors were flown 
from the crest of the gorge ; a night-attack by five monitors, 
firing about 50 shells in the direction of the western maga- 
zine, was serious. The fort replied with two guns, firing 
six shots, being the last fired from its walls. The monitors 
drew a heavy fire on tliemselves from Fort Moultrie. The 
rear-admiral, desiring to " force the obstructions," " pre- 
pared" three or four times to do so, but never reached 
them. Casualties, 5 wounded. 

August 23. Seventh day; the fort soon reduced to one gun 
(Keokuk^s) in good condition and two guns partly ser- 
viceable. Work pressed to secure magazine from danger 
of another attack by monitors firing in reverse. Flag- 
staff twice shot away ; more powder shipped ; casualties, 
6 wounded. The fort, breached and demolished by seven 
days' firing (total 5009 rounds), closed the first period of 
the first great bombardment. 

August 24-26. Council of defense held by the chief engineers 
and colonel commanding. The second period opens Avith 
only one-fourth of the daily rate of firing hitherto received. 
General Gillmore urges upon the rear-admiral the scheme 
of cutting off communications from Morris Island by 
picket-boats off Cumming's Point. Second failure to carry 
the " ridge" in front of Wagner (25th). 

Aagust 27-29. Capture of " the ridge " and pickets of Morris 


Island by Union charge (26th). Three days of nearly sus- 
pended firing on Sumter. 

August 30. Heavy shelling on Fort Sumter from the breaching- 
batteries ; casualties, 5 ; damages caused by the lO-inch rifle 
(300-pounder) very severe. Recovery of guns by night 
from the ruins, and shipment to city by gang under 
Assistant Engineer J. Fraser Mathewes. This night 
transport-steamer Sumter, with troops, fired upon in mis- 
take and sunk by Fort Moultrie. 

August 31 . Fort Sumter recei val only 56 shots. Fort Moultrie 
engaged with four monitors for four hours, suffering no 
damage. Major-General J. F. Gilmer announced as second 
in command at Charleston. 

September 1. Mortar-firing on Wagner disables four gims. 
Fort Sumter suflers again from the heavy Parrotts, 382 
shots, and in the night from the iron-<'lad squadron, 245 
shots, crumbling the walls and threatening the magazine as 
before ; casualties, 4 : the fort had not a gun to reply. This 
attack of the iron-clads ends the second period of the first 
great bombardment. The work of saving guns from the 
ruins and removing them to the inner harbor began on the 
night of August 27th, and proceeded regularly from this 
date forward. 

September 2. Desultory fire on Fort Sumter. The sap ap- 
proaches within eighty yards of Wagner. 

September 3-4. Wagner under fire and returning it, assisted by 
Gregg and the James Island guns. On the night of the 
4th-5th, Major Elliott relieved Colonel Rhett in command 
of Fort Sumter. Failure, same night, in plan to assault 
Cumming's Point (Batter}'- Gregg). 

September 5. Slow fire from batteries and New Ironsides on 
Wagner. The assault on Battery Gre^, Cumming's Point, 
made and repulsed on the night of 5th-6th. Head of sap 
opposite the ditch of Wagner. 

September 6. New Ironsides with six monitors and all the 
siege-batteries combine in heavy bombardment of Wagner. 
Preparations made for both its assault and its evacuation. 
Confederate troops under Colonel L. M. Keitt, command- 


ing, withdrawn successfully from Morris Island between 9 
p. M. (6th) and 2 A. M. (7th) after a siege of 68 days. 

September 7. Rear-Admiral Dahlgren demands surrender of 
Fort Sumter. Monitor Weehawken runs aground between 
Sumter and Cumming's Point. Other monitors engage 
Fort Moultrie. 

September 8. Preparations in the fleet all day to assault Sum- 
ter. The same going on ashore under Greneral Gillmore. 
To cover the Weehawken, 5 monitors and the New Iron- 
sides engage the forts and works of Sullivan's Island, firing 
very heavily for three hours, with no damage to the works, 
this being the severest action hitherto between armored ves- 
sels and fortifications. 

September 9, 1 A. m. The assault on Fort Sumter by two col- 
umns of boats from the fleet repulsed, with capture of 115 
prisoners, four boats, and three colors : 6 killed, 19 wounded; 
total, 124 ; Confederate loss, none. Flag of truce sent in 
from the fleet to Sumter and receiving the. dead. 

September 9-27. Fort Sumter enjoys 19 days of perfect rest. 
On Morris Island the working-parties busily occupied turn- 
ing the captured batteries upon the harbor and building 
others, all armed with heavy rifle cannon and mortars. 

September 13-14. Capture of a Union telegraph-party on the 
banks of the Combahee River. 

September 15. Explosion of a magazine at Battery Cheves, 
James Island ; a lieutenant and five men killed. 

September 28. The first minor bombardment of Sumter begins ; 
100 shots fired and 1 man killed. 

October 3. Close of bombardment, lasting six days ; 560 shots. 
Batteries of James and Sullivan's Islands fire irregularly 
upon Morris Island. 

October 5-6. Lieutenant Glassell, of the Confederate Navy, 
attacks the New Ironsides with small torpedo-boat. 

October 14. Fort Sumter mounts three heavy guns in channel 
casemates on north-eastern front. 

October 20. Union boat-expedition to Murrell's Inlet. Union 
loss, 1 killed, 10 captured, by detachment from Twenty-first 
battalion of Georgia Cavalry under Lieutenant £. Kennedy. 



October 22. Rear-Admiral Dahlgren holds a council of war in 
regard to entering the harbor. Six senior captains oppc^ 
and four juniors favor the attempt, the admiral's views 
being sustained by the majority. 

October 26. The second great bombardment of Sumter, land 
and naval, opens to-day with 188 shots and 1 wounded ; 
continued day and night with guns and mortars. 

October 27-28. Firing becomes heavier — 626 and 679 shots 
per day. 

October 29-31. These three days the fort received the severes5t 
fire of any in its whole experience, amounting to 2961 / 
rounds and attended with 33 casualties : of these, 13 killed i 
by falling of ruins l>efore daylight on the 31st. Flagstaff / 
gallantly replaced under fire by Captain Carson, Twenty- \ 
fifth South Carolina volunteers, and four others assisting 
him, on the 29th. Replaced again by Graham, Hit, and i 
Swain of Twelfth Greorgia battalion on the 30th. y 

November 1-2. 786 rounds, 1 wounded ; 793 rounds, 1 killed. 

November 3. Three scouts from the fleet attempt to land bv 
night at the south-eastern angle, and are fired on. 661 
rounds, 7 wounded. 

November 6. Flagstaff replaced by Sergeant Currie and Cor- 
poral Montgomery of Twenty-fifth South Carolina volun- 
teers. Casualties, 2 killed, 12 woimded, all of Twenty- 
seventh Greorgia. 

November 6-7. Confederate raid on Bull Island, Port Royal ; 
the Union dock burned. 

November 7-10. Fort received 1753 rounds; 9 men wounded. 

November 11. 219; 1 wounded. Flag replaced by Sergeant 
G. H. Mayo and Private Robert Antry, Twenty-eighth 
Georgia volunteers. 

November 12-15. 2326 ; 2 killed, 5 wounded. 

November 16. Demonstration of Union troops on John's Isl- 
and met by Major Jenkins with artillery. 

November 16. 602 ; monitor Lehigh, aground under fire, much 
damaged by Confederate batteries before getting oflF. 

November 17-18. 959; 1 killed. 

November 19. 694; 1 wounded. Boats from the army (200 


men) attempt assault on Sumter, but, being discovered be- 
fore landing and fired on, withdraw on night of 19th-20th. 

November 20. 1344; 3 killed, 11 wounded. 

November 24. 270. 3 killed, 2 wounded. Death of Captain 
F. H. Harleston at Fort Sumter. Skirmish near Cunning- 
ham's Bluff, South Carolina. 

Noveml)er 25-26. 517. 

November 27. 380. Flag replaced by Privates James Tup- 
per, Foster, Buckheister, and Bluett of Charleston battal- 

November 28-Dec. 4. 1307 ; 1 killed, 1 wounded. 

December 5. 61. Last day of second great bombardment (41 
days and nights). Third expedition to Murrell's Inlet. 
Union boat-party, 3 officers and 12 seamen, captured by 
two companies of Georgia cavalry (Twenty-first battalion) 
und^r Captain Harrison. 

DiHsember C. Monitor Weehawken foundered at her anchorage 
off Morris Island. 

December 11. Explosion of magazine, with destructive fire; 
11 killed, 41 wounded. Fort received 220 rounds, this 
being the second minor bombardment. 

December 12-31. No firing upon the fort. The garrison much 
tried by labor and hardships of crowded quarters. 

December 25. Attack by field- and siege-guns on gunboats in 
Stono. The Marblehead much cut up by Confederate fire, 
but escaped with loss of 3 killed and 4 wounded. 

December 28. Confederate works abandoned near Legarevillc, 
John's Island, and two 8-inch siqge-guns carried off by 
expedition from gunboats. 


January 1-28. Desultory firing (8 days) on Fort Sumter. 

January 7. Affair on Waccamaw Neck ; capture of a naval 
party of 25 by a lieutenant and a private of the Twenty- 
first Georgia Cavalry battalion. 

January 30. Flag replaced under fire by Acting Adjutant B. 
Middleton, together with Shafer, Banks, and Brassingham 
of Lucas's battalion (Fort Sumter). 


Jahiiaiy 29-31. Third minor bombardment (583 rounds) be- 
.dj(;L:g|ns and ends. New Confederate iron«clad Charleston 

added to defense, 
^ebfttiry 1-29. Desultory firing (16 days) on Fort Sumter. 
Eebt^tttry 9-11. Union reconnoissance in force (2000) on John's 

Island met by Major Jenkins with 150 men, and afterward 

with larger force (2000) under Brigadier-General H. A. 
-({iTl'Wise; after skirmishing for two days the Union troops 
-!j;tn4^ithdrew in haste to their boats. Confederate loss, 17; 

Union, 34. 
February 12. Western casemates, Fort Sumter, armed with 
^* S heavy guns. 

Fdsniiary 17-18. Destruction of gunboat Housatonic, off 
v(I I^Oharleston bar, by Lieutenant Greorge E. DLxon, Com- 
(fiMiljjjany E, Twenty-first Alabama volunteers, who with his 

crew and torpedo-boat also perished. 
E^bmliry 26-27. Capture of Union boat, with oflScer and 5 

men, by Confederate navy-picket, off Fort Sumter. 
Ma.fch 1-31. Desultory firing (10 days) on Fort Simiter. 
Ma'tch 6. United States steamer Memphis attacked by a tor- 
pedo-boat in North Edisto River; a failure. 
MftfOh 14. Fourth minor bombardment (143 rounds). 5 

Aiprtl 1-28. Desultory firing (12 days) on Fort Sumter. 
AtiHt'3-6. 'Brisk mortar-shelling of fort's wharf at night 
April 8-9. Demonstration of barges by night upon eastern 
• »ii''^6liore of James Island; no action. 
Ai)riJ 14. Night-firing of Fort Moultrie on United States tug 

April 20. General Beauregard relieved by Major-General Sam. 

April- 28-May 4. Fifth minor bombardment (Fort Sumter), 
^"•''7 days, 510 rounds. . 
MAy^l. Major-General Gillmore relieved by Brigadier-Grene- 

ral Hatch. 
Iilay'4. Lieutenant-Colonel Elliott, commanding Fort Sumter, 
^ ' • t^lieved by Captain J. C. Mitchel. 
May 10-12. Second council held by Rear- Admiral Dahlgren. 

Calendar o¥^ EVENts. iHvu 

The question of attacking Sumter n^atived by se\^ out 
of nine. J)0 

May 13. A Confederate picket (5 men) captured at southern 
end of James Island. oO 

May 13-16. Sixth minor bombardment (Fort Sumter),(jVdays, 
1140 rounds; casualties, 6. ,-8 vfnf. 

May 19-20. Boats discovered reconnoitring oif southnYfliistern 
angle, and fired on from Fort Sumter with field-hftJi^itzer 
on parapet. r»l 

May 26. Major-General Foster assumes command ofiilTnion 
forces in the department. Demonstration of gunbciflis up 
the Ashepoo and South Edisto Rivers. Union >«ftart*et 
Boston grounding in Ashepoo, near Chapman's Forit and 
being shelled by Earle's light battery, was set oUfA&re by 
the enemy and destroyed, with 60 horses. iiH 

May 30-June 5. Seventh minor bombardment (Fort Suftiter), 
8 days, 319 rounds; 4 casualties. 

June 6. The New Ironsides left station for the North.'.:'/ 

June 7. Confederate transport-steamer Etiwan grounidW off 
Fort Johnson, and destroyed by enemy's fire froni^Motril 
Island. ^id'^l 

June 6-30. Desultory firing (17 days) on Fort Sumteivr^titend- 
ed by 2 casualties. /jS /' ^ 

June 20. The flagstaff of Fort Sumter gallantly replaced /Wnder 
brisk fire by Lieutenant C. H. Claiborne, assisted fej Ser- 
geant N. Devereux and Corporal B. Brannoh of ther Jlngi- 
neers. r: ? ) 

June 24. Flag replaced under fire. ibSin 

June 26. Flag replaced under fire by Privates Walt^iiJ^t^IS 
and D. E. Badger. ^vn^ 

June 27. Flag replaced under fire. Preparations lti;(5fnion 
army and fleet for striking another blow on Cfea4fisWRj, 

July 2. Brigadier-General Schimmelfennig lands ^ ^^umn 
on James Island ; advancing by Ri versus Cauiev^y, it 
was checked by Confederates, who lost two gun$ liwfc^il 
back to .stronger position. sl/rio 

July 3. Fort Johnson and its advanced work, BatterjtSijatlriof, 
assaulted at daylight of 3d by an expedition in barg€^lfrora 


xviii APPENDIX. 

Morris Island, nearly a thousand strong. Feebly sapport- 
cd, the assault failed, and 140 prisoners, including the com- 
mander, Colonel Hoyt, and five officers, were taken. The 
Confederates were commanded by Lieutenant^Colonel J. A. 
Yates, First South Carolina (r^ular) Artillery. 

July 3-5. John's Island invaded by converging columns (5000 
strong), and occupied, after stubborn resistance of small 
force under Majors Jenkins and Wayne, supported by Par- 
ker's Light Battery. Union troops on James Island driven 
back to the Stono, where monitors and gunboats cover them 
and shell the Confederate works very heavily. 

July 7-9. After two days' skirmishing at Grimball's Water- 
loo Place, the Union intrenched position on John's Inland 
was attacked and carried by Confederate troops under 
Brigadier-General Robertson ; and that night the Union 
force left John's Island, and the squadron withdrew from 
the Stono next day. In these operations, July 2d-nth, 
Union loss reported, 330 ; Confederate, 163, only 17 having 
been killed. 

July 7-8. Fort Sumter's third great bombardment begins. 
Flag shot away four times on 7th, twice on 8tli; 784 

July 20. The commander. Captain J. C. Mitchel, mortally 
wounded. Up to this (14th day) 29 casualties ; 4890 rounds. 
In this first period the fort much damagetl ; the boom off 
the sea-face cut away ; boats sunk at the wharf, etc. Ca|)- 
tain Mitchel succeeded by Captain T. A. Huguenin same 

July 21. General Foster's powder-raft, to be exploded near the 
fort, was prepared for service, but not taken up as intended 
for this night. 

July 27-28. Captain Johason, engineer in charge of Fort Sum- 
ter, severely wounded (twenty-second day), and succeeded 
by Lieutenant E. J. White. 

August 3. Flag of truce, exchanging 50 Union and Confed- 
erate officers, in the channel off Fort Sumter. 

August 4-23. Firing on Sumter continual, but slackened. 
Rcar-Adrairal Dahlgren lends General Foster guns from 


the fleet to supply the batteries on Morris Island, weak- 
ened by expenditure of many heavy rifle cannon. 
August 28. General Foster's powder-rafl exploded harmlessly 

ofi^ south-western angle of Fort Sumter. 
September 1. Another attempt of the same kind failed. 
September 3. Flag exchange of surgeons and chaplains ofi* the 

September 4. 'End of third great bombardment : 60 days; total, 

81 casnalties ; 14,666 rounds fired at the fort. 
September 6-18. Eighth minor bombanlment (the last), 9 days ; 

7 casualties ; 573 rounds. 
September 19-30. Desultory firing, often brisk, on the fort, 6 

days ; 200 rounds. 
October 1-31. Desultory, at times brisk, firing on the fort, 18 

days ; 494 rounds. 
Xovember 1-30. Desultory, at times brisk, firing on the fort, 

13 days ; 221 rounds. 
November 7. Blockading gunboat Pontiac receives a rifle-shell 

from Battery Marshall, Sullivan's Island, killing 6, wound- 

ing 7. 
November 30. Battle of Honey Hill, near Graham ville, C. 

and S. Railroad. Union repulse with loss of 754 men, 

Major-Greueral G. W. Smith commanding Confederates, 

Brigadier-Greneral J. P. Hatch commanding the Union 

force, 5000 strong. Confederate loss, 4 killed, 40 wounded. 
December 1-30. Fort Sumter received only seven shots one 

day this month. 
December 6-9. Brisk engagements near Coosawhatchie to break 

C. and S. Railroad ; failed to do so. 
December 7-17. Truce, with exchanges, off* the harbor. 
December 20. City of Savannah evacuated by Confederate 

forces under Lieutenant-General Hardee. 
December 31. Two naval launches captured by Confederates 

off Fort Sumter. 


January 1-31. Desultory firing on Fort Sumter; 64 shots in 
two days. 


January 15. Monitor Patapsoo destroyed by torpedo off Fort 
Sumter; 62 lives lost. 

January 26. Gunboat Dai-Ching destroyed by battery at Bur- 
net's, Combahee River. 

February 1. General Sherman's army, 70,000 strong, enters 
South Carolina from Savannah, Geoi^ia. 

February 3. Confederates resist at Rivers's Bridge, Barnwell 

February 10-12. Union demonstration on James Island stub- 
bornly resisted by force in rifle-pits at Grimball's, com- 
manded by Major £. Manigault. 

February 11. Skirmish at Aiken with Union cavalry. 

February' 12-16. Union expedition of land and naval force to 
Bull's Bay checked four days by Captain E. L. Parker's 
light battery and a small force of cavalry. 

February 15. Skirmish at Congaree Creek, near Columbia. 

February 17-18. Charleston harbor and city evacuated by night, 
after 667 days of continuous military operations against 
them. Columbia, the capital of the State, occupied by 
General Sherman'ft? army. 



This powerful sea-going, iron-clad steamer was the only one 
of her class built by the Navy Department of the United States 
during the Civil War. Being of the ordinary model in all 
essentials and capable of carrying canvas, the vessel was yet 
of exceptionally light draught for her displacement. This seems 
to have affected at times the steering, but never to any serious 
degree. And when all the offensive and defensive qualities of 
the ship are considered, the failui*e of the Government to follow 
up her construction with others of the same class is something 

An act of Congress approved August 3, 1861, authorized the 
call for plans and specifications of armored vessels. From a 
large number of propositions only three were accepted. By 
recommendation of a naval board consisting of Commodores 
Joseph Smith and Hiram Paulding and Captain Charles H. 
Davis contracts were made the same fall for the building of 
the Monitor, the Galena, and the New Ironsides, each of differ- 
ent model. 

Description op the Vessel. 

Contracted for October 16, 1861, launched May 15, 1862, and 
5?ent to sea on trial-trip August 21, 1862, the vessel was com- 
pleted in ten months after contract. The builders were Merrick 
& Sons, Philadelphia. 

Length over all 249 feet 6 inches. 

Depth of hold ..... 17 " 

Beam, varying from 46 feet to 57 feet 4 inches. 

Draught of water .... 16 feet. 

Displacement 3500 tons. 



The ship had three decks ; was pierced for eight guns on eadi 
broadside ; was armed with fourteen Xl-inch smoothbores and 
one or two 8-inch rifles (150-pounders). An armor-plating 
tliree inches thick, carried all around from four feet below the 
load-line to three feet above it, terminated forward in a ram 
four and a half feet iJeep aad nine inches thick, prcgecting six 
feet from the stem. The sides above this line of plating fell 
back with u slopa of five feet seven inches in a height of ten 
feet. The plating, solid, forged, four and a half inches thick — 
not laminated, inch thick, as for the monitors— covered these 
sides for a length of one hundred and seventy feet.^ 

The bow and stern were unplated, except near the water-line. 
On the gun-deck, fore and aft, were two iron-clad bulkheads, 
closed with rolling doors of solid plate iron five inches thick. 
These bulkheads thus " enclosed the gun-deck and proved an 
effectual barrier to a raking fire." The spar-deck of wood was 
plated on the under side. Furnished with masts, which were 
made to be unshipped, and bark-rigged with lower and topsail 
yards, besides fore-and-aft-sails, slie generally went without them, 
but they were deemed to be indispensable to her safety while on 
a voyage. She carried but ten days' coal, burning nearly forty 
tons a day, and making on the way to Port Royal, with steam 
and sails, only six and a half knots. " Her motions, rolling and 
pitching in a sea-way,'' Captain T. Turner reported, " are as 
easy as any ship I ever sailed in : indeed, I may say that they 
are graceful and playful, so buoyant is she, and taking in as 
little water as any frigate in service." {Ai'mored Vesseky Exec. 
Documents, vol. xiii.) Her complement of men was from four 
hundred to four hundred and fifty. 

The pilot-house, a small iron turret capable of holding only 
three persons, was strangely located behind the large smokestack 
and furnished with the usual slits for outlook. An effort was 
made to remove the pilot-house fonvard soon after the ship's 
arrival at Port Royal harbor. South Carolina, but found im- 
practicable with the means at hand. The horse-power of the 
• engines appears also to have given some dissatisfaction, as being 
not great enough iji the case of a gale and the danger of a lee 
^Journal <^ the Franklin Institute, vol.-liii. No. 2. 


shore. The ports were closed with iron shutters, and their 
dimensions were thought too contracted to allow as great ele- 
vation or lateral movement of the guns as was desirable. 

Services on the 7th op April, 1863. 

It is easy to perceive that Rear-Admiral DuPont's confidence 
in the power of his iron-clad squadron was greatly shaken before 
this attack. The engagements with the sea-coast batteries in 
Georgia had been discouraging, and while the monitors were 
falling under suspicion, the New Ironsides was still more dis- 
trusted when it became a question of engaging Fort Sumter 
and the other works at the entrance of Charleston harbor. 

Nevertheless, the rear-admiral took the ship into action with 
his flag flying upon her, four monitors in advance and four 
others bringing up the rear, all in the formation of 'Uhe line 
ahead." About the time of the leading monitor's opening fire, 
the flagship, heading against the ebb tide, a strong current, 
must have slackened speed and drifted down and ofl^ to the 
eastern edge of the channel. This is said with the full reports 
and a chart of the harbor opdn before the writer ; and the con- 
clusion is, that if she came in as near as the rear-admiral says — 
1000 yards — she could have been in no danger of going ashore, 
for the soundings in channel at that distance and as far out as 
2000 yards from Sumter are as follows : 3f fathoms, 6 J, 9, 6 J, 
and 7} fathoms. But the evidence of her being farther ofl^ than 
that, even on the extreme eastern limit of the channel, at this 
place a half mile wide, is convincingly given by her own com- 
manding officer, although he agrees with the admiral in his 
estimate of distance. Captain Turner reports? that ** he found 
the ship frequently within a foot of tlie bottom," and he 
attributes to the extraordinary skill of the pilot " the fact that 
she was kept clear of it." Now, no soundings of seventeen feet 
or thereabout occur on the eastern limit of the channel, except 
at a distance of over 2000 yards from Fort Sumter. The ship^s 
draught was sixteen feet, and she was reported " frequently 
within a foot of the bottom." 

But the drifting, we are further told by the reportB, was caused 


by the ship's " becoming partly unmanageable." * The admiral 
says his vessel ^' could not be brought into such close action as I 
endeavored to get her ; owing to the narrow channel and rapid 
currents she became partly unmanageable^ and was twice forced 
to anchor to prevent her going ashore, once owing to her having 
come into collision with two of the monitors. She could not 
get nearer than one thousand yards." The channel is shown by 
the chart to have a width of at least half a mile to the left of 
her position and a depth of five or six fathoms. 

With his well-known distrust of the ship, which he held to 
be " more vulnerable than the monitors" (Exec. Doc,, Armored 
Vessels, page 79), it is fairly to be inferred that the admiral did 
not take her near enough to do herself any ci'edit. The con- 
sequences were, that neither her offensive nor her defensive 
qualities were exhibited. Not a gun was fired at Fort Sumter, 
only seven at Fort Moultrie, and one at Battery Wagner. The 
ship was struck very often, but, being twice as far ofi^ as the 
monitors, her injuries were comparatively slight. The testimony 
of Captain Turner was as follows : " She lost one port-shutter, 
shot away. She had one of her plates cracked (through and 
through) by a shot. She had a breeching-bolt driven in. She 
received a shot on her beak which twisted it a little and cracked 
it. Whenever she was struck in her wooden work she was dam- 
aged — I cannot tell how many times. There was nothing to 
impair her efficiency in the slightest degree, either in her iron- 
or woodwork. She was as ready to go into the fight ten min- 
utes afterward as she ever was."' Her captain continues : " No 
shot or shell entered the iron-clad part of the Ironsides. Some 
came in through the woodwork, but did not penetrate the sand- 
bags. My impression is, that had it not been for the sandbags 

* " Wlien in shallow water, like nil flat-floored vesBels, 8he steered bsidlv 
and became unmanageable if obliged to *low down or to tttxtp the enginery" (italics 
not original). "'The armor-plating was foar and a half inches in thickness, 
and stood fairly the fire from all the batteries to which she was exposed at all 
times." — Atlaniic Coast ^ Rear- Admiral D. Ammen. 

'"Fort Sumter cripples the New Ironsides" is a statement by the author 
of MUitwry Operations of Oeneral Beauregardy chapter xicx. vol. ii. I have 
found no evidence of the above. The ship was plainly less aflected by the 
Confederate fire than her oommaQding oflScers appear to have been. 


on the spar-deck I should have lost many of my crew. The 
iron plating of the spar-deck is confined to the wooden deck 
above it by iron bolts, half screwed. There were about thirty 
of these bolts over each gun. Wherever shots struck where 
there were no sandbags the bolts would be driven down like 
bullets ; one shot did strike where there were no sandbags, and 
the bolts underneath were driven out by the concussion. All the 
woodwork, both forward and abaft the iron bulkhead, was bar- 
ricaded by sandbags eight or nine feet in a horizontal direction 
nearly to the beams. Immediately before going into fight I turned 
the hose upon the sandbags, both fore and aft, and saturated them 
thoroughly with water : water was several inches deep in my 
cabin. I put green raw-hides on the spar-deck fore and aft, 
making a carpet of them from one end of the ship to the other ; 
over these a layer of sandbags fore and aft as far as each iron 
bulkhead ; these were some five or six inches thick. After the 
fight was over it could be seen where the shot stnick the sand- 
bags, as they were ripped up and the sand driven in all direc- 
tions." (Exec. Doc., A7*mored Vessels, pages 148, 149.) 

It is almost unnecessary to add that there were no casualties 
on board the flagship New Ironsides during the attack of April 
7, 1863. 

Services in July, August, and September, 1863. 

These were principally against Morris Island, and incidentally 
against Sullivan's Island : on only one occasion did the guas of 
the New Ironsides fire upon Fort Sumter, and that was by night, 
afl«r the fort had been silenced by the land-batteries. In July 
and August the ship took part with the monitors and gunboats 
in the si^e of Battery Wagner, very greatly contributing to the 
common purpose. 

This was notably the case July 18th, in preparation for the 
second assault that evening. For seven hours next preceding 
the assault the powerful batteries of the ship poured into the 
devoted work a perfectly overwhelming fire of 11-inch shells, 
aimed and exploded with the utmost precision. No less than 
805 rounds were fired, and before the plucky little fort was 


silenced — ^there were only two lO-inch smoothbores on the sea- 
face — ^the sliip was struck ten times. On four other days, later 
in July, she engagal Wagner diirfng ten hours, firing 964 rounds, 
and receiving from Wagner's one or two guns as many as thirty 

On seven occasions in August the guns were in action against 
Wagner, firing 1152 rounds, but with no response from the 
pigmy to the giant after tlie first day, August 17th, when thirty- 
one hits or more were received. 

In order to let the veterans of Battery Wagner who may be 
left at this date read the effects of their fire, the following report 
is introduced. The 17th was the first day of the bombardment 
of Fort Sumter : 

United States Ship New Irokside?,! 
Off Morris Island, Aug. 17, 1863. i 

8iR : I have the honor to make the following report respecting the 
injuries received by this ship in the action of to-day (with Wagner). 
I count in all thirty-one hits, though I think we were struck several 
times below the water-line. The plating received nineteen shots, eleven 
others struck the woodwork, and eight passed through the smokestack. 
No material damage was done to the armor, though in four places the 
iron was so much crushed in as to crack it. The backing, except in one 
place where one width of the ceiling, just forward of No. 6 port on the 
starboard side, is driven in about three-fourths of an inch, shows no 
signs of having been started. The forward shutter of No. 3 port on 
the starboard side was shot off and lost overboard, having been struck 
on its upper edge near the pivot on which it swung. One shot came 
through the woodwork on the starboard quarter into the cabin and 
passed down into the wardroom, tearing out a large piece of the clamps 
in one of the cabin staterooms, ripping up the coaming of the ward- 
room hatch and splintering the beam underneath. One of the wheel- 
ropes which ran through the beam barely escaped being cut away by 
this shot. Another shot struck the deck, unprotected by sandbags, 
just abaft the parterners of the mizzen mast, going through the plank- 
ing and glancing off as it met the iron underneath. The iron, however, 
was crushed down to the depth of an inch and a half, and partially 
broken. The deck-pump on the starboard quarter was carried away, 
and the shot, striking the sandbags, glanced forward and remained on 
deck; but the knee supporting the beam underneath the place where 
the sandbags lay was split and one of the carlins broken. 

All these hits were made by 10-inch solid shot, which seem to hare 


been fired with exceedingly heavy charges, some of them at a distance 
of not more than from nine hundred to one thousand yards. 
Very respectftilly, 

T. H. Bishop, Carpenter. 
Captain S. C. Rowak, 
' Commanding U. S. Steamer New Ironsides. 

It is possible that a few of these shots may have been fired 
by Battery Gregg, or even Fort Sumter, as they both engaged 
the fleet the same day ; but the artillerists of Battery Wagner 
certainly made fine practice with their two 10-inch colnmbiads 
against the terrible odds of the Ironsides, with her thundering 
broadside of seven Xl-inch guns and one heavy rifle. 

On the night of September lst-2d the same ship accompa- 
nied the monitors up the channel to Sumter, and fired fitly 
shells into the grim ruin, which now at lengthy quite silenced 
• by the land-batteries, had not a gun left to reply to the iron- 
clad squadron. The rear-admiral in his Diaiy (Memoir) says 
he received two shots from Sumter, but he is mistaken. 

Next came two hot days' work before the silent but stubborn 
parapet of Battery Wagner in company with all the monitors 
and gunboats. These were the final days of the siege. On 
the 5th nine hours' firing, on the 6th thirteen hours' firing, 
being a total of 742 shots, added to the recoixl, but all without 
the ships receiving any reply. 

At length, when Morris Island was evacuated, the scene of 
naval action was changed for a few days to Sullivan's Island. 
The heavy works of Moultrie, Bee, and Beaur^rd, which 
took part in the action of April 7th, had been made stronger 
and been reinforced by other works since that date. Perhaps 
the greatest weight of metal was concentrated in Battery Bee, 
but the whole line of water-batteries extending from Bee to 
Beauregard, a distance of about 1800 yards, was truly formi- 
dable, second only to the powerful works of Fort Fisher on 
the coast of North Carolina. 

The occasion was given on September 7th and 8th by the 
grounding of the Weehawken off Cumming's Point. As a 
diversion the iron-clads moved up " to go as close to the ob- 
structions as was prudent/' and .consequently became engaged 

xxviii APPENDIX. 

with Fort Moultrie and all the adjacent batteries, mounting 
from thirty-five to forty guns of the heaviest (Confederate) 
calibre. The New Ironsides, Captain S. C. Rowan, accompa- 
nied the monitors, taking her station and coming to anchor off 
Moultrie, a distance of 1200 yards. Some of the monitors 
went in much nearer. They were all received with tlie hot- 
test fire suffered since April 7th ; the monitors sustained it for 
a half hour, the Ironsides for about one hour, the latter firing 
one hundred and fifty-two shells and receiving twenty-four 
hits. This action was brought on late in the afternoon of the 
7th, and was followed by a heavier one next day. 

After retiring for a while the ship was brought up again 
during the night, and, being ready for action in the morning, 
took nearly the same position as the evening before. From 
11 A. M. to about 2 p. M., or nearly three hours, Captain Rowan 
held his vessel to the test with a thoroughness no previous com- 
mander had ever evinced. His report is perfectly correct in 
saying that this was " one of the severest artillery duels ever 
sustained by a ship through a space of two hours and fifty-five 
minutes." And it should be observed that she was anchored 
abreast of her antagonists during both of these actions. No 
other armored vessel before Charleston ever came to anchor 
before the enemy : in action the monitors were particularly 

Nor was this anchoring of the New Ironsides in any degree 
like that other on April 7th, when, two thousand yards from 
Fort Sumter and "partly unmanageable," she was "twice 
forced to anchor to prevent her going ashore," with all the 
while a half mile of deep water between the enemy and her- 

By the report of the ordnance officer, Lieutenant H. B. 
Robeson, the ship fired on the 8th four hundred and eighty- 
throe times and was hit seventy times, the range being 1200 
yards, as the day before. Her commander's report includes no 
mention of damages, but the rear-admiral remarks that "the 

* See Miyor Echols's report on April 7th in Appendix; the rear-admiral 
himself commenting upon this after one of the engagements. (See Memoir, 
Pahlgren, page 410.) 


spar-deck, not included in the armor, exhibits evidence of the 
severe fire to which the vessel has been exposed." The casual- 
ties were only one officer and two seamen slightly wounded. 

Experiences with Torpedoes. 

When the monitors left Charleston to go to Port. Royal for 
repairs, five days after the fight of April 7th, the New Ironsides 
crossed the bar with them, but continued with the blockading 
fleet ontside to protect the gunboats from another such raid as 
the Confederate rams had made on them in the early part of 
the same year. 

It has been related in this volume (Chapter II.) how the flag- 
ship escaped destruction while becoming unmanageable on the 
7th and drifting over a large electric torpedo sunk by the Con- 
federates off Morris Island. This was a boiler containing three 
thousand pounds of powder : it had been placed in the main 
ship-channel to be exploded by wires extending to Battery 
Wagner, but the scheme failed.^ 

The next move planned against the entire armored squadron 
was to be a night-attack with small boats bearing spar-torpedoes. 
Suggested by General Beauregard, it was prepared, under Flag- 
Officer J. R. Tucker, by Lieutenant W. H. Parker of the navy, 
but was thwarted by the withdrawal of the squadron from its 
anchorage on the very day appointed for the expedition, April 
12, 1863. 

Another attempt, specially directed against the New Ironsides, 
was made by Captain J. Carlin, commander of a blockade-runner, 
on the night of August 21, 1863. Obtaining for his purpose, 
from Captain F. D. Lee of the Engineers, a hull fitted with 

* Chas. G. de Lisle, assistant engineer, engaged in this work with Dr. John 
R. Cheves, Messrs. Waldron and Kates, reports under date May 26, 1863, that 
in laying the cable the steamer drifted, and thus an extra mile was added to 
the circuit, making the adjustment of the poles in the torpedo insufficiently 
near for the increased length of the cable. And this was the cause, he thinks, 
vhy the explosion failed to occur. He says the entire cable was examined 
subsequently and found in perfect order. (For report and sketches see War 
J^aordi^ vol. xiv. page 950.) I have seen no authority given for the story that 
the cable was cut on the beach of Morris Island by the passage of a heavy 


steam-power, and one of the latter's spar-torpedoes carried at 
the bow, Captain Carlin, with a crew of vohinteer sailors from 
the Confederate squadron in tlie harbor and a guard of eight 
soldiers from the garrison of Fort Sumter under Lieutenant 
E. S. Fickliug, moved through the darkness upon the armored 
frigate. She was just then swinging with the tide, and pre- 
sented her bulky form so unfavorably to the attack as to cause 
some confusion in the execution of the orders, so that Captain 
Carlin, finding himself about to run alongside instead of " bow 
on," and w^ith his spar entangled in the andior-chain of the 
frigate, decided to make off. With not a moment to lose, since 
the watch of the frigate was hailing and threatening him, he 
was further chagrined by the stoppage of his engine and the 
delay it occasioned. But, persevering in his efforts, he escaped 
without any loss. (See Captain Carlin's report in Appendix F.) 
Next came, on the night of October 5-6, 1863, the equally 
daring and partly successful attack by Lieutenant W. T. Glassell 
of the Confederate Navy. A little boat* of peculiar construc- 
tion, cigar-shaped, driven by a propeller with steam-power, 
nearly submerged, and armed with one of Lee's torpedoes 
(spar), was employed for the purpose. Taking with him only 
three men — J. H. Toombs, assistant engineer, James Sullivan, 
fireman, and J. W. Cannon, pilot, the engineer and fireman 
being from the gunboat Chicora, the pilot from the gunboat 
Palmetto State — Lieutenant Glassell made his way down the 
harbor soon after dark, arriving off Morris Island about nine 
o'clock. Pa^ising along the eastern edge of the main channel, he 
reconnoitred the enemy's vessels lying at anchor and seen dis- 
tinctly against the camp-fires of Morris Island, then entirely 

* This boat, the first of the class known as " Davicls," was bnilt at his own 
expense by a citizen of Charleston, Mr. Theodore D. Stoney. He was aided in 
fitting it ont by the counsel of Captain F. D. Lee and Dr. St. Julien Ravenel. 
Having a length of al)out thirty feet, a diameter of five and a half feel at its 
middle, and ballasted so as to float deeply in the water, it was painted above 
the line a bluish-gray color. The torpedo, carried at its bow by a hollow iron 
shaft about fourteen feet ahead of the boat, was a copper cylinder cliarged 
with " about one hundred pounds of rifle powder, and provided with four sen- 
sitive tubear of lead containing explosive mixture." Most of the particulai> 
given in this" account are obtained from a paper by Commander Glassell, c<hi- 
tribnted tu the Magazine of tite Southern Historical Society, vol. iv. 


occupied by the Union forces under Major-General Q. A. Gill- 
more. The flagship, New Ironsides, was soon discovered in the 
midst of the fleet, with her starboard side presented to his view. 
Putting on all steam and making for his object, he was dis- 
covered from the frigate's deck when about three hundred yards 
distant. Hailed several times rapidly, but giving no answer, he 
shortened the distance to about forty yards ; then levelled his 
giui at the officer of the deck, Acting Ensign C. W. Howard, who 
had come to the side, and fired, mortally wounding him. The 
next moment the little boat struck the frigate between die gang- 
way apd the quarter, exploding the toi-pedo with full force. A 
column of water, raised instantly above the level of tlie spar- 
deck and descending into the engine-room of the Ironsides, was 
the means of disabling for a while her doughty little antagonist, 
for the same water put out the fires of the David and poured 
into the hull through the narrow hatchway. Seeing what ap- 
jieared to be a desperate condition of things, Lieutenant Glassell 
pive the order to abandon the boat. The explosion had not 
claniagcil it, but the engine could not be revei'sed, and the boat 
drifted astern of the great ship. Meanwhile, the lieutenant and 
Ills companions, except Cannon, who could not swim, took to the 
water, himself escaping unhurt through a rain of bullets, until 
picked up after an hour's exhausting swim and made a prisoner. 
Sullivan also was captured, taken from the rudder-chains of the 
frigate, which he had caught in passing. Cann6ii held on to the 
<lrifting boat until rejoined by Toombs, who soon raised steam 
on it, and the two brought the David back to the city that 

* The expedition and all the actow were hijrhly commended in general 
orders by General Beauregard. Glaiwell was promoted to the rank of com- 
mander, and after his exchange served on the James River nntil the close of 
the wan Toombs was made a chief engineer. Commander Glassell, a native 
of Virginia, was a lieutenant in the navy of the United States when the war 
broke out. Returning from China in 1862, he suffered about eight months 
imprisonment for not taking the oath ; was exchanged and entered the navy 
of the Confederacy. Most of his service was in and around Charleston. Favor- 
ing the use of torpedoes in naval warfare, he encountered difficulties and dis- 
couragements, hut, finally overcoming them, he will always be remembered as- 
the first naval officer to" conduct an attack with them and prove their efficiency. 
He died at Los Angeles, CalifolTiia, 6ti the 28th of January,. 187 9. ' 

xxxii APPENDIX. 

On board the Ironsides tlie alarm for a while must have been 
terrible. The greatest uneasiness prevailed, as might with reason 
be expected, but the published official reports of the incident are 
scarce and barren of particulars. The rear-admiral was not on 
board at the time, but he tells how he hastened to the frigate as 
soon as possible. Though reporting only that " the outside of 
the hull near the locality of the explosion was examined by the 
divers, and it is reported to me verbally that no impression of 
any consequence is to be seen,'' he writes down in his Diary: 
'' It seems to me that nothing could have been more succes^^ful 
as a first effort, and it will place the torpedo among certain 
offensive means." {Memoir , page 417.) The report made the 
next day to the rear-admiral by the captain commanding is 
equally devoid of details : 

United States Steamer New Irokstoeb, ) 
Off MoB&is Island, South Carolina, Oct. 6, 1S63. i 

Sir : I have the honor to report the circumstances attending the explo- 
sion of a torpedo against the side of the ship last night at a quarter- 
past nine o'clock. 

About a minute before the explosion a small object was seen by the 
sentinels and hailed by them as a boat, and also by Mr. Howard, officer 
of the deck, from the gangway. Receiving no answer, he gave the order 
" Fire into her ;" the sentinels delivered their fire, and immediately the 
ship received a very severe blow from the explosion, throwing a column 
of water upon the spar-deck and into the engine-room. The object fired 
at proved to be (as I subsequently learned from one of the prisoners) a 
torpedo-steamer, shaped like a cigar, fifty feet long by five feet in diam- 
eter, and of great speed, and so submerged that the only portion of her 
visible was the coamings of her hatch, which were only two feet above 
the water's edge and about ten feet in length. 

The torpedo-boat was commanded by Lieutenant-commanding Glas- 
sell, formerly a lieutenant in our navy and now our prisoner. He states 
that the explosion threw a column of water over the little craft which 
put out the fires and left it without motive power, and it drifted past 
the ship. 

Nothing could be seen from the gun-deck, and to fire at random would 
endanger the fleet of transports and other vessels near us. The marine 
guard and musketeers on the spar-deck saw a small object at which a 
very severe fire was kept up until it drifted out of sight, when two of 
the monitors, the Weehawken and Catskill, passed under our stern and 
were close to it, when it suddenly disappears! ; two of our cutters were 
despatched in search of it, but returned without success. 


I hope our fire destroyed the torpedo-Bteamer, and infer the fact from 
the statement of Lieutenant-commanding Glassellj who acknowledges 
that he and Engineer Tombs and pilot, who constituted the crew at the 
time of the explosion, were compelled to abandon the vessel, and, being 
provided with life-preservers, swam for their lives. Glassell hailed one 
of our coal-schooners as he drifted past, and was rescued from a grave 
he designed for the crew of this ship. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant^ 

8. C. RowAW, 
Captain eommanding. 

The damages received by the New Ironsides in this encounter 
with the torpedo-boat would appear to have been exaggerated by 
the Confederates in about the same degree as they were suppressed 
By the Union authorities. Many of the former assert without 
proof that the steamer was " crippled " or " disabled so as never 
to fire another shot.*' She was neither crippled nor disabled, 
and she did fire many shots again, as will be proved in the 

Her injuries, though not severe, were considerable,* and the 
general efikjt of the explosion was so formidable as to create 
to the end of the war the liveliest apprehensions of another 

' " November 18. Captain Rowan came on board to report that in remov- 
ing con] in bunkers of Ironsides it was discovered that the injury from tor- 
pedo was very serious, and extended down toward the keel."~(JI/(6ifioir DoA/- 
greny page 426.) 

In a paper contributed to the Journal of the Franklin Ifulitut€j February, 
1867, vol. liil. No. 2. by J. Vaughan Merrick of Philadelphia, the builder 
of the New Ironsides, it is briefly stated concerning the injuries that '* be- 
yond driving a deck-beam on end, to shattering a knee/' no material damage 
was done to the ship. 

In the Higtory of the Confederate States Navy, by J. Thomas Scharf, A. M., 
LL.D., New York, Rogers & Sherwood, 1887, it is stated, chapter zxiii. page 
760: ''Upon examining the New Ironsides it was found that the torpedo 
exploded only three feet under water, and against four and a half inches 
of armor and twenty-seven inches of wood backing. By the explosion the 
ponderous ship was shaken from stem to stem. It knocked down a bulk- 
head, started some timbers, and threw two or three rooms into confusion. 
A marine was dashed against the ceiling and his leg broken, while several 
other men were slightly injured." By reference to the builder's paper in 
the Journal of the Franklin Inttitvie it will appear that the armor below the 
load-line for four feet was three inches thick, not four and a half, as stated 
by the author of the above history. His authority for particulars is not 

xxxiv APPENDIX. 

such attack. The utmost vigilance and the most elaborate sys- 
tem of defense and protc^ption were immediately inaugurated 
and constantly employed by all the vessels off Charleston har- 
bor, and in particular by the New Ironsides. Picket-boats iii 
abundance were on guard every night : hawsers stretched twenty 
feet distant around the frigate and the monitors, and held in 
place by projecting poles, acted as fenders against the dreaded 
danger. The frigate even employed two tugs to move around 
lier like satellites every night, while a revolving calcium light 
flashed its rays in every direction. But the ship kept her 
anchorage, aud remained on the station until June 6, 1864, 
having made a stay of eight months after the occurrence. 

In the extremely heavy bombardments of Fort Fisher at 
the entrance of Cape Fear River, North Carolina, the New 
Ironsides took an active part. Under Rear-Admiral David 
D. Porter, and commanded by William Radford, commodore 
commanding iron-clad division, she was engaged at from thir- 
teen to fifteen hundred yai*ds for five hours on the 24th, and 
for seven hours on the 25th of December, 1864. 

Again, on the days January 13, 14, 15, 1866, this ship, 
leading the iron-clad division, was engaged altogether for the 
space of twenty-eight hours, making a total before Fort Fisher 
of forty hours in action on five days. During all this time no 
injury is reported ; only it is said by her commander that the 
armored vessels fought " without receiving any material dara- 

Compiled from the figures given in the Journal of the Frank- 
lin Institute and from the official reports of the United States 
Navy, the following consolidated statements may be relied on 
as authoritative: 

In action off Charleston harbor (July 18 to Sept. 8, 1863), 
68 hours 49 minutes. 

Number of rounds fired, 4361, of which 3300 were at Bat- 
tery Wagner. 

In same period received 250 hits. 

In action off Fort Fisher (Dec. 24, 1864, to Jan. 15, 1865), 
40 hours. No record of firing or hits discovered among the 
published official reports. 


The New Ironsides was destroyed by fire at her anchorage 
near League Island^ in the Delaware River below Philadel- 
phia, December 16, 1866.* 

* The following incident is related in a note appended to the Memovr^ of 
Rear-Admiral Dahlgren, chapter xiv. page 426 : 

*' After the Ironsides had been struck by the torpedo it became important 
to know with certainty to what extent the hull had been affected externally 
under the water. The divers were therefore directed to examine. Their 
boat was brought alongside and a diver descended. It was low water, and 
the instant was seized when the tide ceased to ebb. The diver went carefully 
over the part of the bottom at the damaged portion, and then, reaching the 
keel, concluded to pass under it and look at the other side. He had accom- 
plished this, and was on the other side, when he perceived that the ship was 
, swinging to the newly-flowing tide. He had found just space between the 
bottom and the keel to pass under, and now saw that the vessel in swinging 
would pass close to a shoal ridge of the sandy bottom, and even grind into 
it. This must inevitably cut off the slender and delicate tube which con- 
veyed air to him, and also sever the lines by which, in case of accident, he 
was to be drawn up. In the silence and solitude of those dark waters there 
was no human hand to avert the fearful consequence. Fastened down by 
his heavy weigliis, it would be instant suffocation. 

" With all the speed that his incumbrances permitted, he endeavored to 
reach the keel and pais under it before too late. The ship was coming round 
rapidly ; he passed his head and body, but began to feel the pressure of the 
keel against the soft ooze. With great effort he succeeded in dragging his 
tubes and limbs clear, and the water became a little deeper ; but one arm 
was so painfully crushed that it was some days before it was in a condition 
to use." 

Opinions of Naval Officera. 

" The Ironsides is a fine, powerful ship." — (Rear- Admiral Dahloren, 
June 28, 1864.) 

"The New Ironsides I regard as a much more efficient type of iron-clad 
than the monitors just discussed, because of her possessing advantages over 
them in the particulars of fitness for general purposes, seaworthiness, relative 
strength of bottom or absolute capacity to endure vibration thereat, security 
against an antagonist vessel getting astride of her, speed, and habitability.'' 
—Rear- Admiral L. M. Goldsborough, Feb. 26, 1864.) 

''I have never yet seen a vessel that came up to my ideas of what is 
required for offensive operations as much as the Ironsides." — Bear-Admi- 
BAL D. D. Porter, Jan. 15, 1865.) 


Kinbum^ Black Sea {Fotia and Ships), October 17, 185^. 

Three French sea-going gunboats, clad with rolled-iron 
plates 4.33 inches thick, backed by eight inches of oak, carrying 
each sixteen guns (G8-pounders), engaged and silenced the Rus- 
sian batteries, at close range, after five and a quarter hours' 
firing: the gunboats were but little injured. 

Cluirleston Harbor, South Carolina {Fort and Batteries), April 
12, 13, 1861. 

In the bombardment and capture of Fort Sumter by the 
Confederates, two iron-clad batteries bore a prominent part 
One was an earthwork for three guns, 8-inch columbiads, pro- 
tected by a slanting shield (35°) of heavy timbers covered with 
railway iron, the rails fitting into each other alternately up and 
down, and presenting on the outside a smooth surface kept well 
greased for action. The shots from Fort Sumter, for the most 
part, glanced from this shield without penetration or injury. 
Planned and constructed by C. H. Stevens of Charleston, after- 
waixl brigadier-general, it was completely successful ; but later 
in the war such shields on the Western river-batteries were 
riddled by the 10-ineh shot of the gunboats. The other bat- 
tery, known as the " floating battery," was protected by a high 
bulwark and slanting roof of heavy timber, covered with iron 
plates of one and a half to two inches thickness ; its armament 
wa*? four 42-j>ounders. It wa** frequently hit, but not seriously 
damaged, by the guns of Fort Sumter. The projector and con- 
structor was Lieutenant J. R. Hamilton of Charleston, an ex- 


officer of the United States Navy, and, later, of the Confederate 

Cumberland River, Tennessee {Forts and Ships), February, 186Z. 

Fort Henry, February 6th. — Four iron-clad gunboats of Cap- 
tain Eads's construction, plated with two and a half inches of 
iron over a backing of eight inches of oak, inclined 40°, carry- 
ing 15-inch and 10-inch guns ; engaged fort fighting them with 
eleven guns until seven were silenced. Range from 1700 to 
600 yards. Action lasted 1 hour 15 minutes, and resulted in 
the surrender of the fort. One iron-clad (Elssex) entirely dis- 

Fort Donelson, February 14th. — Four gunboats, as above, 
fighting with twelve bow guns, engaged the fort, fighting with 
10-inch guns. Range from 1700 to less than 400 yards. Action, 
lasting 1 hour 30 minutes, terminated in repulse of boats. The 
flag-ship St. Louis and the Louisville were wholly disabled, the 
former having received 59 shots ; the two remaining boats were 
also greatly damaged. 

Hampton Roads {Ships), Virginia, March, 1869. 

The Merriraac (Virginia), steam-frigate razeed, casemated sides 
slanting 35°, of wood twenty-four inches thick, covered with four 
indies of iron, armed with eight 9-inch smoothbores and four 
7-inch and 6-inch Brooke rifles, engaged at close quarters by 
the Monitor (Ericsson's plan), carrying two Xl-inch guns, 
smoothbores, and covered on the turret with eight inches, on 
the sides with five inches, of iron plating. This action of 
March 9th was three hours in length, and was a drawn 

Captain Van Brunt, of the Minnesota frigate, reports that 
the Monitor withdrew first, and that then the Merrimac threat- 
ened to bear down on him. On April 1 1th and for several days 
following the Merrimac offered battle to the Monitor without 
success ; and on May 8th the entire Union fleet, including the 
Monitor, was chased by the Merrimac from SewelPs Point to 
Old Point. 

xxxviii APPENDIX. 

Dreitnfs Bluff, James River y Virginia {Earthworks and *Sfty>«), 
Mat/ If), 1862, 

Two armored and three unarmored vessels engaged Confede- 
rate land-battery, armed with tliree 8-iuch (smoothbore) colum- 
biads. Afler three hours' fighting, at an average of about 800 
yards, the Gralena (iron-clad) was penetrated in many places and 
disabled, and the squadron retired, with loss of 14 killed and 
13 wounded. The bluff was somewhat over a hundred feet 
above the river. 

Charleston Bar, SoxUh Carolina (Ships), January SI, 1863. 

The Palmetto State and the Chicora, Confederate iron-clad 
gunboats, built with slanting casemated sides of timber twenty- 
two inches thick, covered with four inches of iron, and armed 
•with 6- and 7-inch rifles and with 8- and 9-inch smoothbores, 
attacked, damaged^ and drove off for seven hours the blockad- 
ing fleet of nine wooden vessels. 

Oreat Ogeechee River, Georgia (Fort and Ships), March 3, 1863. 

Fort McAllister, seven guns, harmlessly bombarded for eight 
hours by three monitors, one of which, the Passaic, retired with 
her deck very badly injured : range, 1500 yards. 

Charleston Harbor, S. C (Forts and Ships), April 7, 1863. 

The iron-clad squadron of pine vessels (one steam frigate 
and eight turreted boats) engaged the forts and batteries at 
the entrance of the harbor for two hours and a half, when they 
were forced to withdraw, with more than half their number 
partially disabled, one sinking next morning. (The particu- 
lars are given fully in Chapter II. of this work.) 

Warsaw Sound, Georgia (Ships), June 17, 1863, 

The Confederate iron-<*lad gunboat Atlanta, of the same build 
as the Palmetto State and Chicora, described above, was attacked 
at short range, and captured after a brief engagement, by the 
Federal monitors Weehawken and Nahant, armed with XV- 


inch and Xl-inch smoothbores. The Atlanta grounded early 
in the action, became a fixed target for the Weehawken, and 
was badly damaged by her heavy shot. The Nahant took no 
part, but was coming forward when the surrender occurred. 

PlyniouUiy N. C, and Albemarle Sound, N. C, April 19 
and May 6, 1864, 

Confederate ram Albemarle, two 7-inch rifles, engaged two 
gunboats off Plymouth, sinking one and driving off the other. 
Again, in Albemarle Sound, when attacked by eight or nine 
gunboats, this ram disabled one, and, after fighting for three 
hours, retired at nightfall with no serious injury. Her armor 
resisted solid shot of IX-inch smoothbores and 6-inch rifles, 
action at close quarters. Destroyed by torpedo-boat at anchor- 
age, October 27, 1864. 

Mobile Bay (Ships), August 5, I864. 

The Confederate ram Tennessee, stronger than any other 
built at the South, except the Arkansas, having an armor of 
six inches of iron laid upon twenty-five inches of timber, 
slanted 45° from the deck, carrying six Brooke rifles, but with 
inferior steam-power, attacked the entire Union fleet of fifteen 
or more vessels, among them three monitors. luvulnerable to 
most of their broadsides, she was exposed to their ramming 
attacks without sufficient steam-power to avoid them. The 
XV-inch shot of the monitors fired. with heavy charges failed 
to penetrate her shield, with one exception. But with three 
port-shutters jammed, reduced to firing but three guns, with her 
smokepi|)e broken off close to the upper deck, and her rudder- 
chains cut away, she became unmanageable and was surren- 
dered. The fight was at very close quarters. 

lAsm, Adriatic Sea (Ships), July W, 1866. 

The Austrian fleet of seven armored and twenty unarmored 
vessels repulsed the Italian fleet of nine armored rams and 
frigates, two of which were lost. The casualties were heavy 


on both sides. ItalianH, 650 drowned or killed and 40 wound- 
ed ; Austriausy killed and wounded^ 136. 

Peruvian War, Iqxdque Harbor (Ships), 3Iay SI, 1879. 

The Huascar and Independencia, Peruvian armored ships, en- 
gaged two Chilian unarmored gunl)oats. One, the Esmeralda, 
was sunk by the ram of the Huascar. The Independencia, 
chasing the other gunboat, grounded, and surrendered under 
fire ; but the Huascar coming up, the gunboat left her prize 
and escaped. The Independencia was fired and abandoned by 
her crew. 

Ooaa of Peru {Ships), October 8, 1879. 

In this, the first and only action between seagoing iron-clad 
ships, the Penivian steamer Huascar, armored on turret (revolv- 
ing) with but five and a half inches, and carrying four guns 
(two 10-inch smoothbores and two 40-pouuder Whitworth rifles), 
was met by two Chilian men-of-war, the Almirante Cochrane 
and Blanco Encalada, twin iron-clads. The latter, armored 
with nine inches of plating at water-level, from six to eight 
inches around the batteries, carried, each, six 9-inch Armstrong 
12-ton guns, firing only Palliser shells. Action be^n at long 
range, with subsequent attempts at ramming and fighting at 
300 yards, decreased at times to 100, and even 50 yards ; lasted 
one hour and a half, when the Huascar, on fire, with tliree feet 
of water in the hold and nearly one-third of her crew killed or 
wounded, surrendered to the Chilians. The Huascar fired 20 
rounds : the other vessels, 77 together. The Peruvian ship was 
greatly overmatched in armor and ordnance. 

Alexandria, Egypt (Forts and Ships), July 11, 1882. 

The English fleet, eight iron-clad seagoing steamers, with five 
gunboats, carrying altogether 102 guns, destroyed the forts and 
batteries, after firing ten and a half hours, with little loss to 
themselves (6 killed and 28 wounded), but with great loss to 
the Egyptians. The latter fouglit well, but with only 10-inch 
against 12-, 18-, 25-, and 81-ton guns, firing shells of 258, 410, 


547, and 1704 pounds weight. The English ships were pro- 
tected by armor varying from five and six inches to ten and 
twelve, and even from sixtean to twenty-four inches, of iron. 
In the fleet some guns were disabled, one ship having been 
struck twenty-five times. The forts (105 guns) had their 
strongest granite walls shivered, sometimes by a single shot, 
while sandbag work suffered little damage from the heaviest 
projectiles of the English. The strongest of the iron-clad 
ships was the Inflexible, of 9515 tons, 8483 horse-power, 23 
feet draught, and a speed of 14.74 knots. She was armed 
with four 81-ton guns of 16-inch calibre, capable of penetrat- 
ing twenty-two inches of iron at 1000 yards. 

Note. — The Armstrong breech-loading rifle cannon, made for the Italian 
navy and tested at Spesia, bad a weight of 100 tons ; calibre, nearly 18 inches ; 
length, 39 feet ; diameter at breech, about 5 feet 5 inches ; projectile of steel, 
about 4 feet 6 inches long, weight 2000 pounds; charge, 471 to 600 pounds; 
greatest penetration, 30 inches of wrought iron. More than half the gun 
made of steel, the remainder being wrought iron. 

(September, 1887.) Knipp*s great gun for the Italian navy weighs 118 tons, 
is 45 feet long, and its internal calibre is nearly 16 inches, rifled with ninety- 
two spiral turns. It throws a steel projectile weighing nearly one ton, with a 
charge of six cwt. of brown prismatic powder, having an initial velocity of 
614 yards in a second and a range of nearly eight miles ; the shot can penetrate 
a steel armor-plate thirty-six inches thick immediately at the mouth of the 
K<m. and a plate of twenty-nine inches thick, it is estimated, at a distance of a 
RjiJe or more. 


No account of the defense of Charleston by the Confederate 
forces would be complete without the strongest testimony to the 
services rendered for more than two years by tliis distinguished 

A native of Louisa county, Virj^inia, born in 1813, and 
(rraduated at West Point in the class of 1833, he entered the 
United States Army as a lieutenant of the First Artillery, and 
was soon after appointed Assistant Professor of Engineering at 
the Military Academy. Resigning his commission about the 
year 1836, he entered upon the quiet life of a planter in his 
mother State, and engaged in that occupation with good success 
for upward of twenty-five years. 

When the Confederacy called for soldiers he repaired to the 
front, serving as captain of Engineers on the staff of General 
Beauregard, and actively engaged in all ojierations connected 
with Centreville imd Bull Run. Subsequently ordered to the 
West, he had much to do with the powerful batteries at Island 
No. 10, Mississippi River, with Fort Pillow, Vicksburg, and 
other places. With General Bragg he went into Kentucky, and 
returned soon after to be ordered to Charleston with General 
Beauregard. Here, in the Department of South Carolina, 
Georgia, and Florida, his time was busily occupied in the 
planning and construction of forts and channel obstructions, 
heavy batteries and extensive lines. Major (and then Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel) Harris became one of the most highly esteemed 
officers of the General Staff. 

Although aided by the superior knowledge of his command- 
ing general, he had laid upon himself chiefly the problem of an 
entirely new system of sea-coast defense, made nec^essarj- since 



the first years of the war by the improvements in iron-clad ships 
and heavy artillery. And how skilfully he discharged his duties 
around Savannah and Charleston, along the coast, up the inlets, 
on the banks, and in the channels of deep, navigable estuaries, 
substituting new for old works, enlarging, strengthening, and 
|>erfecting on a scale never before contemplated, is amply 
pn)ved by the records of Forts McAllister, Sumter, Wagner, 
aud Moultrie, of James and Sullivan's Islands, under all their 
severe ordeals of fire. CAnd how also, in the midst of it, he 
threw himself constantly among the troops that were most 
exposed, sharing their dangers and winning their admiration 
by the coolest courage, the memory of many a survivor \vill 
testify to this day.) 

Suddenly called away to share with General Beauregard in 
the crisis of the defense of Petersburg, Virginia, where new 
demands of skill in field- and siege-work were made upon him, 
he rose at onc^ to the highest reach of his engineering service, 
compelling admiration of his fertile resources and indomitable 
spirit But it was the last active duty of his life, for upon his 
return to Charleston with the rank of brigadier-general, and as 
he was about to be put in command of its immediate defense, 
this soldier of many battles was carried off by a fatal attack of 
yellow fever, brought through the blockade from the tropics and 
prevalent in the city at that time. His death occurred in Sum- 
merville, near Charleston, on October 10, 1864. 

The following is a copy of the letter addressed by General 
Beauregard to the widow of Colonel Harris : 

"Jacksonville, Ala, October 13, 1864. 
" Dear Madam : I have just heard the painful news of the death by 
yellow fever, at Summerville, S. C, of your lamented husband, the late 
Colonel D. B. Harris of the Provisional Army, C. S., Engineers. By his 
demise the country has lost one of its ablest and most gallant officers, 
and I have lost one of my best and most valued friends. Peace be to his 
ashes! He has died in a noble cause. 

"The cities of Charleston, S. C, and Petersburg, Va., should erect a 
monument to his memory. 
"With a sad and sympathizing heart, I remain, dear madam, 
" Your obedient and respectful servant, 

" G. T. Beauregard." 


• A well-raerited tribute to his memory in the editorial column 
of the Charledan Mercury ^ October 12th, concludes with these 
, words : (" He united in a singular decree all the qualities which ^ 
I render an oificer valuable to his country and dear to his men. ^ 
\ Wary, yet fearless as a lion, gentle in manner, yet endowed with 
extraordinary tenacity of purpose, fully versed iaall the theories' 
of military science, yet never spuming the suggestions of practi- | 
cal good sense, a man of few words, yet always speaking to the \ 
I point, of unblemished purity in private life, and above all, modest 
I to a fault, he made himself beloved and honored wherever he i 
V went") 



The subject is controversial, but it is so important to a right 
estimate of the defense of Charleston that some attention is due 
to it from every reader of this history, and more particularly 
from the military critic. 

At first, the issue joined between Brigadier-General Ripley 
and General Beauregard was upon the question of the defensive 
vahie of the island. It is not necessary to review the argu- 
ments, which may be read cursorily in Chapter IV. of this work, 
and in full in chapter xxxiii. of the Military OperaJtiona of Gen- 
eral Beauregard and in the appendix to the same. 

Later, the issue raised by Major-General Gillmore in his 
RepoH of Operations proceeds upon a magnifying of the offen- 
me value of the island. In so doing he is controverted by 
General Beauregard in a paper contributed to the Nai^th Ameri- 
can RevieWy July, 1886, and proving that Charleston, not Morris 
Island, being the real object of military offensive operations, the 
possession of Morris Island was of little or no strategic value as 
a means to the end. 

Premising that a calm discussion of the subject should carry 
with it no unwillingness to confess that errors were made in the 
Confederate defense, it is nevertheless the writer's present pur- 
pose to contend that the strategic value of Morris Island, whether 
defensive or offensive, was small indeed, even supposing that the 
game of battle had been played without any oversights on either 

^ The extensive changes of configuration and the inroads upon the island . 
made by the ocean since the war rule this discussion out of all present or 
future applications. 

21 xU 


Let it be first considered that the ground in question was an 
isUind, separated from the city by four miles of water and from 
the nearer island shore (James Island) by two miles of salt 
marsh intersected by creeks. The holding of this advanced 
position by any power in a defensive way must depend on easy 
as well as open communications. In the case of the Confed- 
erates the transportation was so constantly limited, inadequate, 
and strained as to make the supplies and reliefs extremely uncer- 
tain and precarious. Even fresh water was a scarce article. Yet 
it is obvious that occupation of such an island, if only to fore- 
stall an enemy armed with long-range guns, bestows uj3on it a 
relative value, inasmuch as it diverts him from other more vital 
points and gains time for interior protection. But if Morris 
Island had been abandoned to the Union army before its descent 
of July 10, 1863; if, unresisted, the long-range batteries had 
opened on Charleston within a few days from the northern 
extremity, Cumraing's Point, as they did in the fall of that 
year, — what absolute value, with regard to the capture of the 
city or the evacuation of the harbor, would those batteries have 
possessed? None at all. 

That the Confederate occupation of the island, and the hold- 
ing of it in the face of combined land and naval forces for nearly 
two months, did lend to it a relative defensive value must be 
freely allowed. But all that twofold advantage, of diversion 
from James Island (the key of Charleston) and time gained for 
interior fortification, was due, not to the intrinsic defensive value 
of Morris Island, but to the fortuitous oversight of the other 
side, the error and failure of their powerful combinetl land and 
naval force to cut off communications between the island and the 
city, and even force the surrender of the garrisons of Wagner 
and Gregg. Both tlie Union commanders perceived this weak- 
ness and exposure of the defensive holding of the island. 

Rear- Admiral Dahlgrgn was eager to land a regiment of 
marines on the rear of Battery Wagner.* 

Elsewhere he writes General Gillmore : " I propose to land 
* Memoir^ page 40G, 


from boats one of your best regiments to assault the angle rear- 
ward and toward the water. I would also suggest a picked col- 
umn of three or four hundred men to attack the angle rearward 
and landward, passing up Vincent's Creek ; for this I will also 
endeavor to furnish boats." (Despatch July 20, 1863.) To this 

General Gillmore replied: " I am pleased with the project 

I also like your plan of assaulting the work. If the navy can 
famish sailors and marines for one of the columns of attack, I 
will supply the other or others, and a combined attack can be 
made on the work." The same project was urged, later, by the 
general upon the rear-admiral, as follows : 

August 23, 1863 : " I desire to call attention to the project 
frequently discussed and deemed practicable by us both, of 
investing Morris Island as soon as Sumter should be rendered 
harmless, and starving the enemy into terms. I think that I 
can close communication on my left as far out as to include 
Lighthouse Creek. Cannot picket-boats be managed between 
the mouth of that creek and your monitors, so as to complete 
the investment ?" 

And again, September 3, 1863 : " The cutting oflF the enemy^s 
oommunications with this island forms an important element in 
this plan, and I hope it may commence to-night." But it was 
never commenced; it was neglected. 

All this correspondence goes to prove that the absolute defen- 
sive value of Morris Island to the Confederates was small indeed, 
being only the result due to the neglect and oversight of their 
invaders, rather than to any intrinsic advantages of the island 
it«!elf. It may be said that two attempts to assault Curaming's 
Point failed ; but the cutting of communications did not require 
an assault : it might have been effected by persistent dashes of 
armed boats upon the water, with fire of small-arms and how- 
itzers, or even by the steady use of the calcium light upon the 
point night after night. The Confederates were weaker on the 
water than on the land. 

But it has been said by some Confederate critics of General 
Beauregard that if Brigadier-General Ripley had been allowed 
to fortify the southern end of Morris Island, " not a brick in 
Charleston would have been thrown down." Such language is 

xlviii APPENDIX. 

poetical : it needs to be translated into prose. The facts were 
that Morris Island could not, through lack of labor, be fortified 
as it should have been, except at the expense and peril of James 
Island. There was lack of troops on both islands. " The hold- 
ing of the position (Morris Island) was secondary to that of 
James Island, which must first be secured beyond peril, if pos- 
sible, of surprise and capture." (General Beauregard to Sec- 
retary of War, July 20, 1863.) 

Even General. Gillmore in his report goes out of his way to 
establish the defensive value of Morris Island, if fortified accord- 
ing to his plan. He says : " With one such work located on the 
site of Fort Wagner, and another on the high sand-bluffs about 
two miles farther south, no enemy could have maintained a 
lodgment on the island for an hour." But what becomes of 
that plan of landing from the fleet a column on the beach in 
the rear of such a work — a plan that he liked, was " pleased 
with," when suggeiited by the admiral ? Or has he forgotten 
that investment of the island and " starving the enemy into 
terms" whicli he vainly urged upon the admiral? Either of 
these projects would have proved fatal to the strongest and best- 
located works on Morris Island. 


But it is time to consider whether the island can justly be 
said to have any but the slightest offemive value in the strat^ry 
of attack upon Charleston. 

Did the demolition of Fort Sumter from Morris Island set 
the Union army or .navy one foot nearer to Charleston than it 
had been before, " that of course being the ultimate object in 
view"? (General Gillmore's Report.) 

Did the expenditure of fifty-one rifle-cannon, or, rather, did 
the loss of nearly three thousand men, killed and wounded, on 
Morris Island, set forward the desired movement? 

Did the throwing of five thousand tons of metal at Forts 
Wagner and Sumter by the army and navy attain the end for 
which troops were sent by thousands to Grenerals Gillmore and 
Foster, and ships were manned or armored and despatched by 
scores to Admiral Dahlgren? 


Did the piles of rubbish here and there in the streets of 
Charleston sum up any grand results of long-range rifle prac- 
tice or of skilful siege-works on the narrow sea-beach of Morris 
Island^ five miles distant? 

If these questions must all be ^answered in the negative — ^and 
there is no escape from it — the conclusion is forced that only the 
slightest value of the offensive kind belonged to the oojupation 
of Morris Island. 

It may be contended that the blockade was made effective by 
the capture of the island. But this is not supported by General 
Gillmore's statement concerning Fort Wagner— viz. ; " The fleet, 
Iq entering, was not obliged to go within effective range of its 
guns." (Report, page 43.) The main ship-channel could have 
been nightly strung with blockaders off Morris Island as well 
the year preceding its evacuation as the year, following that event 

The views above advanced may thus be summarized as con- 
clusive on these two points : 

1. The defensive value of Morris Island, qualified primarily 
by difficulties of supply and communication on the Confederate 
sidp, was impaired further by repeated plans of investment, as 
feasible as they promised to l)e effective, on the Union side. But 
since these were never carried ont, the island was proved by 
results to possess some relative defensive value in resi)ect to 
time and diversion. 

2. The offensive value of Morris Island was little more than 
transforming to Fort Sumter, annoying to the tqinsportation of 
the harbor, and menacing to the city of Charleston. 



The Capture of Charleston — First Instrtuiions. 


Navy Department, May 13, 1862. 

Sir : This Department has determined to capture Charleston as soon 
as Richmond falls, which will relieve the iron boats Galena and Monitor. 
These vessels, and such others as can be spared from Hampton Roads, 
will be sent to Buirs Bay under convoy of the Susquehanna. 

The glorious achievements of our navy, inaugurated by yourself, give 
every reason to hope for a successful issue at this point, where rebellion 
first lighted the flame of civil war. 

The War Department sends instructions to-day to General Hunter, with 
whom you will consult and with whom you wilt co-operate fully, unless 
the move should be purely naval, when he will render you every assist- 
ance. Very respectfully, etc., 

Gideon Wells, 

Flag-Officer S. F. DuPont, Secretary. 

Oommanding S. A. B, Squadron, Port Royal, S, C. 

Second Instructions for the Capture of Charleston. 

Navy Department, January 6, 1863. 

Sir: The New Ironsides, Passaic, Montauk, Patapsco, and Weehawken 
(iron-clads) have been ordered to, and are now on the way to join, your 
command, to enable you to enter the harbor of Charleston and demand 
the surrender of all its defenses, or suffer the consequences of a refusal. 

General Hunter will be sent to Port Royal with about ten thousand 

men, to act as shall be deemed best after consultation with yourself. 

The capture of this most important port, however, rests solely upon the 

success of the naval force, and it is committed to your hands to ezeente, 



with the confidence the Department reposes in your eminent ability and 
energy. Successful at Charleston, the only remaining point within the 
limits of your command is Savannah. If this place can be captured by 
the iron-clads, attack it immediately under the panic which will be pro- 
duced by the fall of Charleston. If part only of the iron-clads arc 
required to make the attack at Savannah (and I trust {^uch may be the 
case), send off the remainder under careful towage to Pensacola. If 
Savannah cannot be attacked with iron-clads, send, immediately upon 
the fall of Charleston, the New Ironsides and two of the others (con- 
voyed) to Pensacola. Do not allow the New Ironsides to wait for her 
masts ; she can be convoyed. The importance of striking a blow at 
once at Mobile in the event of the fall of Charleston will be apparent 
to your mind. V^ery respectfully, 

Gideon Welles, 
Kcar- Admiral S. F. DdPont, ^Secretary of the Navy, 

Commanding S. A. B. Squadron, Port Royal, S, C. 


Navy Department, April 2, 1863. 
Sir : The exigencies of the public service are so pressing in the Gulf 
that the Department directs you to send all the iron-clads that are in a 
fit condition to move, after your present attack upon Charleston, directly 
to New Orleans, reserving to yourself only two. 

Very respectfully, Gideon Welles, 

Secretary of the Navy. 
Rear- Admiral 8. F. DuPont, 

Commanding South Atlantic B. Squadron, Port Royal, S. C. 

[This despatch must have been received off Charleston about the time 
of the fight, April 7th.] 

D&qjatcJi of Rear-Admiral S. F. DuPont to Major- General D. Hunter. 

Ironsides, April 8, 1863. 
Major-General D. Hunter : 

My dear General: I attempted to take the bull by the horns, but 
he was too much for us. These monitors are miserable failures where 
forts are concerned : the longest was one hour, and the others forty-five 
minutes, under fire, and five of the eight were wholly or partially dis- 
abled. I am, general, yours most truly, 

S. F. DuPont. 


Report of Colonel Alfred Rhett of Engagement of 7th of April between 
Iron-dada and Fort Sumter, etc. 

Head-quarters First South Carolina Artillery,] 
Fort Sumter, April 13, 1863. > 

Captain William F. Nance, A. A. G., First Mil. Dist, S. C. : 

Captain : I have the honor to make the following report: 

The Abolition iron-clad fleet, consisting of the frigate New Ironsides 
and eight monitors, appeared in sight on Sunday morning, April dth, 
inat., crossed the bar the same evening, and anchored in the main ship- 

At 2 o'clock p. M., April 7th, inst., the whole iron-clad fleet advanced 
to the attack in the following order : viz. four monitors were in the ad- 
vance, led by the Passaic ; the Ironsides came next, followed by three 
other single- turreted monitors; and the Keokuk, a double-turreted mon- 
itor, bringing up the rear. 

At thirty minutes past 2 P. M. the long-roll was beaten and every dis- 
position made for action. 

At fifty-five minutes past 2 p. M. the garrison, regimental, and Palmetto 
flajrs were hoisted and saluted by thirteen guns, the band playing the 
national airs. 

At 3 o'clock p. M. the action was opened by a shot from Fort Moultrie. 
At three minutes past 3 P. M., the leading vessel having approached to 
within about 1400 yards of the fort, she fired two shots simultaneously 
—one a XV-inch shrapnel, which burst ; both passed over the fort The 
batteries were opened upon her two minutes later, the firing being by 
battery. The action now became more general, and the four leading 
monitors taking position from 1300 to 1400 yards distant, the fire was 
changed from fire by battery to fire by piece, as being more accurate. 
The fire by battery was again resumed as occasion offered. The liron- 
sidcs did not approach nearer than 1700 yards. The whole fire of the 
batteries engaged was concentrated on the Passaic for thirty niinut(»s. 
when she withdrew from the engagement, apparently injured. The other 
ships, each in turn, received our attention. The fire of both Fort Moul- 
trie and this fort being now^ directed against the Ironsides, she imme- 
diately withdrew out of effective range. The other turreted monitors 
came under our fire in like manner as the preceding, slowly •passing in 
front of the fort in an ellipse— one only, the last, approach fng to about 
1000 yards. 

At five minutes past 4 p. M. the Keokuk left her consorts and advanced, 
bow on, gallantly to within 900 yards of our batteries. She received our 
undivided attention, and the effect of our fire was soon apparent. The 
wrought-iron bolts from a 7- inch Brooke gun were plainly seen to pene- 
trate her turret and hull, and she retired in forty minutes, riddled and 
apparently almost disabled. 


At twenty-five minutes past 6 P. M. the whole fleet withdrew. The 
iron-clads had been under our fire for two hours and twenty-five minutes. 
The Keokuk has sunk, one monitor was towed south on the morning of 
the 8th of April, instant, several were apparently injured, and the fact 
has been demonstrated that iron-clads of the monitor class are not 

For the effect of the fire of the enemy upon the fort I would respect- 
fully refer to the report of engineer. 

One 8-inch columbiad, old pattern, chambered gun, exploded. This 
guu was being fired at about one degree elevation, and it is my opinion 
that its bursting was caused by the shot rolling forward when the gun 
was run into battery. In firing at low degrees of elevation and at depres- 
sion sabot-shot should be used. 

One 42-pounder rifled gun was dismounted by recoil and temporarily 
disabled. One 10-inch columbiad was disabled by having the rear tran- 
som of its carriage shot away. Both guns were again ready for action in 
a few hours. 

The garrison flag received a shot through the union. The regimental 
flag was much torn by fragments of shell. 

The garrison, consisting of seven companies First South Carolina Artil- 
lery, was disposed of as follows : 

1st. Captain D. G. Fleming, with Company B, seventy-eight men, in 
command of eiist parapet battery, assisted by Lieutenants F. D. Blake 
and Iredell Jones. Lieutenant J. M. Rhett, Company A, although on 
sick report, was assigned temporarily to Company B. 

2d. Captain F. H. Harleston, with Company D, seventy-four men, in 
command of north-east parapet battery, assisted by Lieutenants McMillan 
King and W. S. Simkins. 

3d. Captain J. Gadsden King, with Company F, in command of north- 
west parapet battery, assisted by Lieutenants A. S. Gaillard, John MLd- 
dleton, and W. H. Johnson. 

4th. Captain J. C. Mitchel, with Company I, seventy-eight men, in 
command of west parapet battery, assisted by Lieutenant J. S. Bee. 

6th. Captain J. R. Macbeth, with Company E, seventy-seven men, in 
command of mortar battery and east casemate battery, assisted by Lieu- 
tenant J. J. Alston. 

6th. Captain W. H. Peronneau,with Company G, seventy-seven men, 
in command of north-east casemate battery, assisted by Lieutenant E. S. 

7th. Captain C. W. Parker, with detachment Company C, fifty-five 
men, and detachment Company E, in command of north-west casemate 
battery, assisted by Lieutenants G. E. Haynsworth and K. Kemper, 

8th. Lieutenant W. H. Grimball, with regimental band, fifteen men, 
in command of second-tier casemate battery. 

9th. Lieutenant William Clarkson, with detachment of twenty-five men 

liv « APPENDIX. 

of Company B, Charleston battalion, posted in second tier of casemat4? 
as sharpshooters. 

Lieutenant-Colonel J. A. Yates, having reported for duty on the morn- 
ing of the 7th of April, was assigned to the immediate command of the 
parapet batteries. The casemate batteries were under the immediate 
command of Major Ormsby Blanding. 

The following is the number of guns brought into action ; Two 7-inch 
Brooke guns, four 10-inch columbiads, two 9-inch Dahlgrens, four 8-inch 
columbiads, four Vlll-inch navy -guns, seven banded and rifled 42- 
pounders, one banded and rifled 32-pounder, thirteen smoothbore 32- 
pounders, seven 10-inch sea-coast mortars. 

The following were the officers of the staff: Lieutenant S. C. Boylston, 
Adjutant; Captain T. M. Barker, Assistant Quartermaster; Captain 
S. P. Ravenel, A. C. S. ; Reverend N. Aldrich, Chaplain ; Sergeant- 
Major, C. P. Grunshig; and Quartermaster-Sergeant, William Nicoll. 
Lieutenant Charles Inglesby was Officer of the Day ; Lieutenant J. G. 
HeywarJ was Officer of the Guard ; Lieutenant E. P. Ravenel was 
Acting Ordnance Officer, assisted by Lieutenant James B. Heyward, 
Lieutenant of Ordnance. 

The Medical Department was under charge of Surgeon Mat. S. Moore, 
assisted by Assistant Surgeon Samuel Muller. 

Mr. Edwin J. White was present as Acting Engineer Officer. 

The members of the Signal Corps were — ^T. P. Lowndes, Arthur Grim- 
ball, and Joseph W. Seabrook. 

Several officers of General Ripley's staff were present during the 
engagement, and, in the absence of General Ripley, tendered their ser- 
vices to me. 

Captain Benjamin Read, Assistant Adjutant-General, Colonel Edward 
Manigault, and Colonel St. Clair Dearing were present, having tendered 
their services also. 

Mr. Lacoste also was present and rendered efficient service 

For expenditure of ammunition I would respectfully refer to enclosed 
report of Ordnance Officer. 

For a list of casualties I would also refer to enclosed Surgeon's report. 

At 9 o'clock A. M., April 8th, the Keokuk was seen to sink near Morris 
Island beach, where she now lies. 

Respectfully submitted, Aj.fred Rhett, 

Colonely commanding, 

[Author's Note. 

It is to be regretted that no complete roster of this fine regiment has 
yet been obtained. As supplementary to the names of officers given 
above in Colonel Rhett's report or mentioned elsewhere in this volume, 
the following are added, and may be considered accurate as far as 
they go: 


Company A : Captain William Campbell Preston, promoted major and 
transferred to the West, serving under Grenerals Johnston and Hood 
until he was killed in action near Atlanta, Ga., July 20, 1864. 

Captains H. S. Farley and J. A. Sltgreaves, Lieutenants T. G. Dargan, 
Furman Dargan, Eldred Simkins, John Hai leston, James S. Reynolds, 
James L. Robertson, Alfred Ayer, H. W. DeSaiissure, T. Middleton, W. E. 
Erwin, Oscar LaBorde, Henry M. Stuart (the two last named were 
killed in action at Aveiysboro', North Carolina), W. F. Colcock, Jr.| 

Reat'Admiral DuPonVa Report of the Attack. 

Flagship New Ironsides, ) 

Inside Charleston Bar, April 8. 1863. 1 

Sir : I yesterday moved up with eight iron-clads and this ship, and 
attacked Fort Sumter, intending to pass it and commence action on its 
north-west face, in accordance with my order of battle. 

The heavy fire we received from it and Fort Moultrie, and the nature 
of the obstructions, compelled the attack from the outside. It was fierce 
and obstinate, and the gallantry of the oflScers and men of the vessels 
engaged was conspicuous. 

This vessel could not be brought into such close action as I endeav- 
ored to get her: owing to the narrow channel and rapid current she 
became partly unmanageable, and was twice forced to anchor to prevent 
her going ashore, once owing to her having come into collision with two 
of the monitors. She could not get nearer than 1000 yards. 

Owing to the condition of the tide and unavoidable accident, I had 
been compelled to delay action until late in the afternoon ; and toward 
evening, finding no impression made upon the fort, I made the signal 
to withdraw the ships, intending to renew the attack this morning. 

But the commanders of the monitors came on board and reported 
verbally the injuries to their vessels, when, without hesitation or consul- 
tation (for I never hold councils of war), I determined not to renew 
the attack, for in my judgment it would have converted a failure into a 
disaster ; and I will only add that Charleston cannot be taken by a 
purely naval attack, and the army could give mc no co-operation. Had 
I succeeded in entering the harbor, I should have had twelve- hundred 
men and thirty-two guns, but five of the eight iron-clads were wholly 
or partially disabled after a brief engagement. 

The reports of the commanding officers will be forwarded with my 
detailed report, and I send Commander Rliind home with this despatch, 
whose vessel sank this morning from the effects of the bombardment 
yesterday, and who will give the Department all the information it 
may desire. 

I have alluded above only to Forts Sumter and Moultrie, but the 


vessels} were also exposed to the fire of the batteries of Cuiiuning's 
Point, Mount Pleasant (?), the Redan (?), and Fort Beauregard* 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Bear'Admirai, commanding S. A. B. ISquaxlron. 
Hon. Gideon Welles, 

^Secretary of the Navy, 

P. 8. I forward herewith a list of the casualties on board the Keokuk 
and Nahaut. 

Indrudiona of the PremdenL 

Executive Mansion, 


Washington, April 13, 1863. 

Hold your position inside the bar near Charleston, or, if you shall 
have left it, return to it and hold it till further orders. Do net allow 
the enemy to erect new batteries or defenses on Morris Island. If he 
has begun it, drive him out. I do not herein order you to renew the 
general attack. That is to depend on your own discretion or a further 

Admiral DuPont. A. Lincoln. 

[The admiral had left Charleston before this despatch was sent, and 
did not return inside the bar.] 

Further Instructions of the President 

Executive Mansion, > 
Washington, April 14, 1863. J 
This is intended to clear u[) an apparent inconsistency between the 
recent order to continue operations before Charleston, and the former 
one to remove to another point in a certain contingency. No censure 
upon you, or either of you, is intended : we still hope that, by cordial 
and judicious co-ojjeration, you can take the batteries on Morris and 
Sullivan's Islands and Fort Sumter. But whether you can or not, we 
wish the demonstration kept up for a time, for a collateral and very 
important object. We wish the attempt to be a real one (though not 
a desperate one) if it affords any considerable chance of success. But 
if prosecuted as a demonsfrafion only, this must not become public or 
the whole effect will be lost. Once again before Charleston, do not 
leave till. farther orders &oei here : .of course this is .not intended toiorce 


you to leave unduly exposed Hilton Head or other near points in your 
charge. Yours, truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
General Hunter and Admiral DuPont. 

P. S. Whoever receives this first, please send a copy to the other 
immediately. A. L. 

Major Echols's Report of the Attack, 


C. S. Engineer's Office, 
Charleston, S. C, April 9, 1863. 

Major D. B. Harris, Chief Engineer Department: 

Major : I have the honor to make the following report of the en- 
gagement between Fort Sumter and the enemy's iron-clad fleet on the 
7th of April, 1863, at 8 o'clock p. M., lasting two hours and twenty-five 

The incidents which transpired during the engagement are based 
upon information received from the ofi^cers in charge of the works, 
but more particularly from the observations of Colonel Rhett, com- 
manding Fort Sumter, and Lieutenant S. C. Boylston, Adjutant First 
regiment South Carolina Artillery, who made special observations during 
the whole action; the remainder from my personal inspection afterward. 

The leading vessel received the first gun of the engagement. It was 
fired by Fort Moultrie, and was immediately followed by a volley from 
Fort Sumter, which had previously trained her barbette guns on the 
buoy, and opened fire by battery when that position was reached. 

The first turret opened fire at five minutes past three, and moved 
backward, thus developing the manoeuvre of attack. At this moment 
the engagement became general. The second turret passed the fii-st, 
fired, moved backward; the first moved forward, passed the second, 
fired and backed, then retired from action, the other turrets mana?uv- 
ring in the same relative manner, each time nearing or receding a little 
from the fort, in order not to present a permanent target. 

The Ironsides, when at 1700 yards from Moultrie and 2000 yards 
from Sumter, stopped, discharged a battery at the former, and imme- 
diately drew upon herself a heavy fire; numbers of shot were seen to 
strike her, and several to penetrate. Apparently deeming 2000 yards too 
close quarters, she retired out of range after an engagement of forty-five 
minutes. The Keokuk at five minutes past four defiantly turned her 
prow toward Sumter, and, 'firing from her forward turret, moved up for 
close action. The guns of Sumter, Moultrie, Bee, and Cumming's Point 
were all concentrated upon her. Her turrets received numbers of well- 
directed shots, several evidently penetrating and damaging in their 
effects. When within 900 yards of Fort Sumter she was struck neaj 


the bow by a wrought-iron bolt (117 pounds) from a 7-inch Brooke's 
rifle en barbette. The bolt penetrated, ripping up a plating about six 
feet long and two and a half wide. Upon this she stopped, seemed 
disabled for a few minutes, then turned to the channel and proceeded 
toward the bar, at forty-five minutes past four. She sank off the south 
end of Morris Island at half-past eight o'clock the following morning : 
her smokestack and turrets are now visible at low water. From her 
wreck floated ashore a book, a spy-glass, and pieces of furniture be- 
spattered with blood and showing small fragments of iron sticking in 

them To the best of my judgment according to the effect, eight 

XV-inch shells struck the faces : two of these penetrated the wall of the 
eastern face, just below the embrasures in the second tier, next to the 
east pan-coupe, not seriously damaging the masonry ; one, exploding in 
the casemate, set fire to some bedding ; the other passed through a win- 
dow and burst in the centre of the fort. Several exploded in contact 
with the wall, by which the principal craters appear to have been 
formed ; one passed over the parapet into the quarters on the western 
side, exploded, damaging several walls; five Xl-inch shot struck the 
faces, one penetrating near one of the same embrasures pierced by the 
XV-inch shell, broke tlirough and stuck in the interior walls of the 
quarters ; only one impression presented any appearance of a rifle pro- 
jectile Our projectiles generally broke in pieces, as could be Been 

by fragments falling in the water or bounding from the vessel. One, 
after striking, was observed t(J drop and rest at the foot of the turret. 
Several of the smokestacks were riddled 

I arrived at Fort Sumter about two o'clock at night after the engage- 
ment, and found Mr. E. J. White, Assistant Engineer, busily engaged 
building with sandbags in the casemates, first and second tiers, behind 
the damaged walls ; several of them were completed and considerably 
strengthened. This work was continued all night and the next day by 
the garrison and the fifty negroes who had been employed at the fort 
and remained during the engagement. On the following morning the 
fleet lay inside the bar, in the same line of battle in which they ap- 
proached—the first one about two and a half miles from Sumter and 
one and a half miles from Morris Island. Men were visible all day on 
the turret of one, hammering, evidently repairing her plating. About 
noon one of the turrets went south, probably to Port Royal for repairs. 

The Ironsides has kept up a full head of steam since the engagement, 
as can be seen by her constantly blowing off. Three shot-marks are dis- 
tinctly seen in the stern, two just above the water-line. 

The " Devil " (torpedo-raft) floated ashore on Morris Island, the cables 
by which it was attached to the turret's bow having been cut away. It 
is probable that the " Devil,** becoming unmanageable, was the cause of 
the turret retiring early from the action. It appears to be a massive 
structure, consisting of two layers of white-pine timbers, eighteen inches 


square, strongly bolted together j having at one end a re-entering angle 
twenty feet deep to receive the bow of the vessel. In dimensions the 
" Devil " was fifty feet long and twenty-seven feet wide — a layer of bev- 
elled timbers on the front form a bow ; on the deck were seven heavy iron 
plates with hawser-holes, through which passed chains directly down 
and over the sides ; to these at the sides and bow were suspended under- 
neath grappling-irons with double prongs ; in the countersinks of the 
plates were loose iron rollers, apparently to facilitate the drawing of 
the chains through the holes when the grapnels took hold, so as to bring 

to the surface whatever may have been caught 

Very respectfully. 

Your most obedient servant, 

Wm. H. Echols, 
Official : Major Engineers, 

G. Thos. Cox, Lieutenant Etiffineera, 

Report of Brigadier- General J. H, Trapier, C, S, Anny, command' 
ing on Sullivan's Island, 7th of April, 18G3. 

Head-quarters 2d Subdivision 1st Mil. Dist., ) 
Sullivan's Island, April 13, 1863. I 

Captain : I have the honor to submit the following report of the 
action of the 7th inst. between the enemy's fleet of iron-clad war-vessels 
and the forts and batteries on this island. 

At about 2 o'clock p. M. on that day it was reported to me that the 
movementa of the fleet, which had been for some hours anchored within 
the bar, were suspicious, and that some of the vessels appeared to be 
advancing. So stealthily did they approach, however, that not until 
2.30 o'clock did I become convinced that the intentions of the enemy 
were serious, and that the long-threatened attack was about to begin. I 
immediately repaired to Fort Moultrie, where I had previously deter- 
mined to make my head-quarters during the action. Slowly but steadily 
the iron-clads approached, coming by the middle or Swash Channel in 
single file, the Passaic (it is believed) in the van, followed V>y the rest 
(eight in number) at equal distances, the flagship New Ironsides occupy- 
ing the centre. At 3 o'clock Colonel William Butler, commanding in 
the fort, reported to me that the leading ship was in range. I ordered 
him immediately to open his batteries upon her, which was done promptly, 
and the action began. Fearing that the range was rather long for eflect- 
ive work, the firing after a few rounds was suspended for a short time, 
but finding that the enemy refused closer quartern, there was no alterna- 
tive but to engage him nt long range or not at all. We decided upon 
the former, and Fort Moultrie again opened her batteries. Batteries 
Bee and Beauregard had also by this time opened fire, and the action 


had become general. It soon became obvious that the enemy's intention 
was to fight, and not to run by, and orders were given to ** train " on 
vessels nearest in and to fire by battery. Volley atler volley was deliv- 
ered in this way, but, although it was plain that our shot repeatedly 
took effect — their impact against the iron casing of the enemy being 
distinctly heard and seen — yet we could not discover but that the foe 
was indeed invulnerable. 

About 5.30 p. M., or after the action had lasted about two hours and a 
half, the enemy slowly, as he had advanced, withdrew from the contest, 
apparently unharmed, so far, at least, as his powers of locomotion went. 
Subsequent events have happily revealed the fact that one at least of our 
enemy's " invulnerables^' has given proof that brick walls and earthen 
parapets still hold the mastery. 

The nearest that the enemy ventured at any time to Fort Moultrie 
was estimated at 1000 yards; to Battery Bee, 1600 yards; to Battery 
Beauregard, 1400 yards. 

Fort Moultrie was garrisoned by a detachment from the First regiment 
South Carolina regular Infantry, Colonel William Butler commanding, 
assisted by Major T. M. Baker, and consisted of the foUowinj^ com- 
panies : Company A, Captain T. A. Huguenin ; Company E, Captain 
R. Press Smith, Jr.; Company F, Captain Burgh S. Burnet; Company 
G, First Lieutenant E. A. Erwin commanding; Company K, Captain 
C. H. Rivers. 

Battery Bee was garrisoned by another detachment from the same 
regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Simkins. and con- 
sisted of the following companies : Company C, Captain Robert De 
Treville; Company H, Captain Warren Adams; Company I, Captain 
W. T. Tatom. Colonel L. M. Keitt, Twentieth regiment South Carolina 
volunteers, by my consent, took post at Battery Bee, and remained there 
during the action. 

Battery Beauregard was under the command of Captain J. A. Sit- 
greaves, First South Carolina regular Artillery, and was garrisoned by 
the following companies: Company K, First South Carolina regular 
Artillery, First Lieutenant W. E. Erwin commanding; Company B, 
First South Carolina regular Infantry, Captain J. H. Warley com- 

It gives me pleasure to have it in my power to report that not a single 
casualty occurred among any of these troops, with the exception only 
of one in Fort Moultrie. Early in the action our flagstaff was shot 
away, and in falling struck Private J. S. Lusby, Company F, inflicting 
a severe wound, from which he died in a short time. Neither the fort 
itself nor its material was in the least injured. 

It is due to the garrison of Fort Moultrie, and their soldierly and 
accomplished commander. Colonel Butler, that I should not close this 
report without bearing testimony to the admirable skill, coolness, and 


deliberation with which they served their guns. They went all, men as 
well as officers, to their work cheerfully and with alacrity, showing that 
their hearts were in it. There was enthusiasm, but not excitement. 
They lost no time in loading their guns, but never fired hastily or with- 
out aim. The reports of Colonel Keitt, Lieutenant-Colonel Simkins, 
and Captain Sitgreaves give me every reason to believe that the gar- 
risons of Batteries Bee and Beauregard acquitted themselves equally 
well, and are equally entitled to the thanks of their commander and 
their country. Colonel Butler makes honorable mention of the follow- 
ing officers : 

Captain William H. Wigg, A. C. S., when the flagstaff was shot away 
promptly mounted a traverse and placed the regimental flag in a con- 
spicuous place upon it. Captain G. A. Wardlaw, Assistant Quarter- 
master, and Lieutenant and Adjutant Mitchell King, and First Lieuten- 
ant D. G. Calhoun, were likewise prompt in placing the battle and gar- 
rison flags in conspicuous positions. Lieutenant Williams, Ordnance 
Officer, is also favorably mentioned. 

To Captains William Greene and B. G. Pinckney of my staff, and 
First Lieutenant A. H. Lucas, my aide-de-camp, I am indebted for val- 
uable assistance; and my thanks are also due to Lieutenant-Colonel 
0. M. Dantzler and Dr. G. W^. Westcott, volunteer aides for the 

I bave the honor to transmit herewith a statement in tabular form, 
showing the expenditure of ammunition at Fort Moultrie and the bat- 
teries during the action. 

All which is respectfully submitted, 

J. H. Trapier, 
Brigadier- General, commanding. 

Captain W. F. Nance, A, A.-O, 

Report of Major O.K. Hnger, Sonfh Carolina Artillery, commanding 
Artillery on Morria Island, 

Battery Wagner, Morris Island, ) 
April 8, 1863. ) 

Colonel : I have the honor to report that during the engagement 
yesterday this battery fired twenty-two shots, and the one at Cumming*s 
Pointsixty-six : nobody hurt at Cumming's Point, but I regret to have 
to report that from the accidental explosion of an ammunition-chest I 
have had at this battery eight casualties — viz. killed, Sergeant G. W. 
Langley, Privates Amos Fitzgerald and Jerry Dyer ; wounded, Second 
Lieutenant G. E. Steedman, not dangerously ; Corporal Matthew Martin ; 
Privates, Samuel Red, seriously ; Marion Quillan and Thomas Prince, 


slightly ; total, 8 killed and 5 woanded, all of the Mathewes Artilleiy, 
Captain J. Raven Mathewes. 

There was no opportunity for any display of gallantry, but all did 
their duty with cheerfulness and promptness. The guns of this battery 
were of too light a calibre to be of much service, but those at Cumming's 
Point (Battery Gregg), under the immediate command of Lieutenant 
H. R. Lesesne of First Artiller>% were much heavier, and the firing was 
particularly good. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Major y commandiug Artillery Morris Island, 
Ck)lonel R. F. Graham, 

Cbmmanding Morris Island, 

[In reply to a statement of Hon. William H. Seward, U. S. Secretary 
of State, that the attack of the 7th of April " flELiled because the rope 
obstruction in the channel fouled the screws of the iron-clads, and com- 
pelled them to return after passing through the fire of the batteries," 
the following extracts from letters of Brigadier-General Ripley, Colonel 
Butler, and Colonel Rhett will be found important :] 

Head-quarters Ist Mil. Dist., ) 
Charleston, Oct. 12, 1863. J 
I have to remark that the statement is simply false. The mendacious 
particulars are — 

1st. " That the rope obstructions fouled the screws of the iron-clads," 
etc. These would probably have fouled the screws, besides producing 
other effects, but no Abolition iron-clad came within 300 yards of them. 
2d. " After passing the fire of the batteries." But one of the fleet 
came within 900 yards of Fort Sumter or 1000 from the batteries on Sul- 
livan's Island None ever came within effective range of the 

heaviest batteries at all 

R. S. Ripley, 
Brigadier- General, commanding, 
Brigadier-General Thomas Jordan, 

Chief of Sfaff. 

Head-quarters Artillery W. end Sullivan's L, ) 
Oct. 9, 1863. I 
Captain: .... The statement of Mr. Seward is, I beg leave to say, 
incorrect in several particulars. Being in a position where I could obtain 
a good view of the action, I submit as a fact that none of the iron-clads 
approached within several hundred yards of the obstructions, and there- 
fore the screws could not have been fouled bv them The iron< 


dads were not, at any time, within fair range of the heaviest gans in 

position on Sullivan's Island 

William Butler, 
Captain W. F. Nance, Colonel, commanding, 

Assisiant Adjutant- General First Military District. 

Head-quarters 1st Regt. South Carolina Artillery, ) 
Charleston, Oct. 12, 1«63. J 

General: .... The obstructions lay between Forts Sumter and 
Moultrie. During the attack on Fort Sumter I was on the parapet of 
the fort, observing closely with a glass, and causing notes to be taken 
of the progress of the fight in regard to time, distances, movements, and 
results. So far from passing through the lire of our batteries, the object 
of the enemy appeared to be to engage Fort Sumter at the longest effect- 
ive range of their XV-inch guns. At no time did any of them enter 
within the fire of our heaviest batteries, which did not bear out to sea. 
The leading vessel, the Weehawken, approached, under the fire of our 
guns, as near as 1300 yards of Fort Sumter and 600 yards of the ob- 
structions, and passed back out of range in an ellipse. The other vessels 
in turn followed the course of the Weehawken, the Ironsides having 
come to anchor at about 1800 yards from Fort Sumter and about one 
and a quarter miles from the obstructions. Two vessels only, the Keokuk 
and the N«ihant, the last engaged, came nearer than 1300 yards of Sum- 
ter. The Keokuk left the line and came in toward the fort about 900 
yards. Becoming disabled by the eifect of our shots, she drifted in with 
the flood-tide to about 300 yards of the obstructions, when she managed 
to get under way again, and passed out of range in a sinking condition. 
The next morning she sank in shbal water in full view. This was the 
only vessel that came at any time as near as 300 yards of the obstructions. 
The Nahant, in support of the Keokuk, came as near as 1100 yards from 
Snmter, and occupied that position for a short time. 

Alfred Rhett, 
Oolonelf commanding First regiment S. C. ArtilUry, 

General Thomas Jordan, 

Chief of Staff, 

Hd-qrs. Dept. South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, ) 
Charleston, S. C, April 22, 1863. J 

General S. Cooper, 

Adjutant' and Inspector- Oener a ly Richmond, Va. : 

General : The work on the marine torpedo-ram is at a standstill for 

want of material and money. It will be remembered that the work was 

undertaken with the understanding that the sum of 850,000 would be 

supplied by the State of South Carolina, and such material as the Navy 


Department had available Meantime, the great value of the 

invention has been demonstrated so as to secure general conviction ; and 
Captain Tucker, commanding Confederate States naval forces afloat on 
this station, declares unhesitatingly that this one machine of war, if 
finished, would be more effective as a means of defense and offense than 
nearly all the iron-clads here, afloat and building — a fact of which I am 
fully assured. Had it been finished and afloat when the enemy's iron- 
clads entered this harbor several weeks ago, but few of them probably 
would have escaped. Be that as it may, I trust the Department will 
have the matter inquired into ; that is, the relative value, as war-engines, 
of the Lee torpedo-ram and of the iron-clad rams Chicora and Palmetto 
State and others of tlie same class now building in this harbor, to the 
absorption of all the material and mechanical resources of this section 
of the country. 

I cannot express to the War Department in too strong terms my sense 
of the importance of the question involved, and of its intimate con- 
nection with the most effective defense of this position. I do not desire 
to impose my views, but feel it my duty to urge an immediate investiga- 
tion by a mixed board of competent oflScers, to determine whether it be 
best for the ends in view to continue to appropriate all the material and 
employ all the mechanical labor of the country in the construction of 
vessels that are forced to play so unimportant and passive a part as that 
which Captain Tucker, C. S. Navy, their commander, oflScially declares 

to me must be theirs in the future as in the past 

G. T. Beauregard, 

Qeneraly commanding. 


Letter of the Secretary of the Navy to Hear- Admiral DuPont in Rephj 
to Dejtpatch of April 22d. 

Navy Department, May 15, 1863. 

. . . . " While complaining of the criticism of the Baltimore paper, 
you express your disappointment that your oflScial report is not pub- 
lished. What public benefit, let me ask, could be derived from its pub- 
licity? .... 

" I have not published your reports because, in my judgment, duty to 
the country forbade it. They may justify the failure at Charleston and 
excuse your abandoning, after a single brief effort, a purpose that the 
nation had deeply at heart, and for which the Department had, with 
your concurrence and supposed approval, made the most expensive and 
formidable preparations ever undertaken in this country ; but such pub- 
lications could have inspired no zeal among loyal men and would have 
encouraged those in rebellion. 


" In abandoniog the great object for which we have labored for so 
many months, and precipitately withdrawing from the harbor, your 
motives have not been questioned ; but I have not deemed it expedient 
or wise to publish to the world your reports of your failure and your 

hopelessness of success It has not appeared to me necessary to 

yoar justification that the powers of assault or resistance be depreciated, 
and I regret that there should have been any labored effort for that 
purpose." Very tespectfully, 

Gideon Welles, 

Secretary of the Navy, 
Rcar-Admiral S. F. DuPont, 
Oommanding S, A. B. Squadrm, Part Royal, S, C, 

Rear-Admiral DuPonfs Reply to the Secretary of the Navy. 

Flagship Wabash, ) 

Port Royal Harbor, May 27, 1863. J 

. ..." I desire to call the attention of the Department to the state- 
ment that I precipitately withdrew from the harbor of Charleston, aban- 
doning the great object for which we bad labored for so many months. 
This charge is a serious one and highly derogatory to my professional 
character. When I withdrew the iron-clad vessels from action on the 
evening of the 7th of April, I did so because I deemed it too late in the 
day to attempt to force a passage through the obstructions which we had 
encountered, and I fully intended to resume offensive operations the next 
day; but when I received the reports of the commanders of iron-clads 
as to the injuries those vessels had sustained, and their performance in 
action, I was fully convinced that a renewal of the attack could not 
result in the capture of Charleston, but would, in all probability, end 
in the destruction of a portion of the iron-clad fleet, and might leave 
several of them sunk within reach of the enemy (which opinion, I after- 
ward learned, was fully shared by all their commanders). I therefore 
determined not to renew the attack. 

" But had not my professional judgment, sustained by all my com- 
manding officers engaged in the attack, decided against further opera- 
tions, I would have felt compelled by the imperative order of the De- 
partment, dated the 2d of April and received the 9th, to withdraw my 
Tcssek. The words of this despatch I beg leave to recall to the atten- 
tion of the Department : 

'*'The exigencies of the public service are so pressing in the Gulf 
that the Department directs you to send all the iron-clads that are in a 
fit condition to move afler your present attack upon Charleston, directly 
10 New Orleans, reserving to yourself only two.* 

" Accompanying this despatch was an unofficial letter from the Assist- 


atit Secretary giving the reasons for this order, and closing with the 
remark : * This plan has been agreed upon ailer mature consideration, 
and seems to be imperative/" 

S. F. DuPoNT, 


[From Bnttlea and Leaders of the Civil War, Century Co.] 
South Atlantic Blockading Squadron i^ January-July, 1863), 

Bear- Admiral S. F. DuPont, commanding; Commander C. R. P. Rodgebs^ 

Chief of Staff. 

Screw Frigate. — Wabash— Com. T. G. Oorbin, one 150-pounder 
Parrott, one X-inch, one 30-pounder Parrott, forty-two IX-inch. 

Screw Sloops. — Pawnee — Com. G. B. Balch, eight IX-inch, one 100- 
pounder Parrott, one 60-pounder Dahlgren ; Canandaigua — Capt. J. F. 
Green, two Xl-inch pivot, one 150-pounder Parrott pivot, three 20- 
pounder Parrotts, two 12-pounder rifle howitzers, two 12-pounder S. B. 
howitzers; Housatonic— Capt. W. R. Taylor, one Xl-inch, one 100- 
pounder Parrott, three 30-pounder Parrotts, four 32-pounders, one 12- 
pounder S. B. howitzer, one 12-pouHder rifle howitzer; Mohawk— Com. 
A. K. Hughes, six 32-pounders, one 24-pounder S. B., one 12-pounder 

SiDEWHEEL Steamer. — Powhatan— Capt. S. W.Godon,Capt. Charles 
Steedman, seven IX-inch, one 100-pounder Parrott pivot, one Xl-inch 

Gunboats. — Wissahickon — Lieut. -Com. J. L. Davis, one 150-pounder 
Parrott pivot, one 20-pounder Parrott pivot, two 24-pounder S. B. howit- 
zers, one 12-pounder rifle howitzer; Seneca — Lieut. -Com. William Gib- 
son, one Xl-inch pivot, one 20-pounder Parrott pivot, two 24-pounder 
S. B. howitzers ; Unadilla — Lieut.-Com. S. P. Quackenbush, one Xl- 
inch pivot, one 20-pounder Parrott pivot, four 24-pounder S. B. howit- 
zers, one 12-pounder S. B. howitzer; Marblehead — Lieut-Com. R. W. 
Scott, one Xl-inch pivot, one 20-pounder Parrott pivot, two 24-pounder 
S. B. howitzers ; Ottawa — Lieut.-Com. W. D. Whiting, one Xl-inch, one 
20-pounder Parrott, two 24-pounder howitzers ; Water Witch — Lieut- 
Com. A. Pendergrast; Huron — Lieut.-Com. G. A. Stevens, one Xl-inch 
pivot, one 20-pounder Parrott rifle, two 24-pounder S. B. howitzers. 

Double-enders. — Sebago— Com. J. C. Beaumont, one 100-pounder 
Parrott pivot, five IX-inch, two 24-pounder S. B. howitzers ; Cimarron— 
Com. A. G. Drake, one 100-pounder Parrott, one IX-inch, two IX-inch 
pivot, four 24-pounder S. B. howitzers ; Conemaugh — Com. Reed Wcrden, 
one 100-pounder Parrott pivot, four IX-inch, two 24-pounder S. B. howit- 
zers, one Xl-inch pivot ; Paul Jones — Com. Charles Steedman ; Com. 


A. C. Rhind ; Lieut-Corn. E. P. Williams, oue 100- pounder Parrott pivot, 
one Xl-inch pivot, four IX-inch, one 12-pounder S. B., light. 

Purchased Steamebs. — South Carolina — Com. J. J. Almy, one 30- 
pounder Parrott, one 24-pounder S. B. howitzer, four Vlll-inch, two 
32-pounders; Dawn — Act. Lieut. John S. Barnes, Act. Master James 
Browu, two 32-pounders, one 100-pounder Parrott, one 20-pounder Par- 
rott, one 12-pounder howitzer; Mercedita — Com. H. S. Stellwagen; 
Quaker City — Com. J. M. Frailey; Commodore McDonough — Lieut.- 
Com. George Bacon, one IX-inch pivot, one 100-pounder Parrott, two 
50-pounder Dahlgren rifles, two 24-pounder S. B. howitzers; Potomska 
—Act. V.-Lieut. William Budd, five guns; E. B. Hale— Act. Lieut E. 
Brodhead, four 32-pounder8, one 30-pounder Parrott pivot; Lodona — 
Com. E. R. Colhoun, one 100-pounder Parrott pivot, one 30-pounder Par- 
rott pivot, one IX-inch, four 24-pounder S. B. howitzers ; Norwich — Com. 
J. M. Duncan, four Vlll-inch, one 30-pounder Parrott, one 12-pounder 
rifle howitzer; Wamsutta — Act. V.-Lieut. J. W. Kittredge, four 32- 
pounders, one 20-pounder Parrott, one 12-pounder rifle howitzer ; Key- 
stone State — Com. W. E. LeRoy, six Vlll-inch, two 32-pounders, one 
50-pounder Dahlgren, two 30-pounder Parrotts, two 12-pounder rifle 
howitzers; Madgie — Act.* Master F. B. Meriara, one 30-pounder Parrott 
pivot, 1 20-pounder Parrott pivot, two 24-pounder S. B. howitzers, one 
12-pounder S. B. howitzer; Isaac Smith — Act. Lieut. F. S. Conover; 
James Adger — Com. T. H. Patterson, one IX-inch, six 32-pounder8, one 
20-pounder Parrott, one 12-pounder S. B. howitzer; Augusta — Com. 
E. G. Parrott, six Vlll-inch, one 100-pounder Parrott rifle, two 30- 
pounder Parrott rifles, one 12-pounder rifle howitzer ; Flag — Com. J. H. 
Strong, four Vlll-inch, one X-inch pivot, two 30-pounder Parrotts; 
Flambeau — Lieut.-Com. J. H. Upbhur, one 80-pounder Parrott pivot, 
one 20-pounder Parrott pivot, two 12-pounder heavy howitzers; Stettin 
—Act. Master C. J. Van Alstine, one 30-pounder Parrott pivot, four 24- 
pounder S B. howitzers; Uncas— Act. Master William Watson, four 
32-pounders, one 20-pounder Parrott; Memphis— Lieut-Com. P. G. 
Walmough, Act. Master C. A. Curtis, four 24-pounder S. B. howitzers, 
one 30-pounder Parrott rifle, two 12-pounder rifle howitzers. 

Monitors (one XV-inch, one Xl-inch, each).— Patapsco — Com. D. 
Ammen ; Passaic — Captain P. Drayton ; Nahant^ — Com. John Downes ; 
Montauk— Com. John L. Worden, Com. D. M. Fairfax ; Nantucket— 
Com. D. M. Fairfax, Lieut.-Com. L. H. Newman, Com. J. C. Beau- 
mont; Weehawken— Captain John Rodgers; Catskill— Com. George 
W. Rodgers. 

Other Iron-clads. — Keokuk— Com. A. C. Rhind, two Xl-inch 
S. B.; New Ironsides— Com. T. Turner, fourteen Xl-inch, two 150- 
pounder Parrotts, two 50-pounder Dahlgrens. 

Sailing Vessei^ (barks).— Kingfishei^-Act. Master J. C. Dutch, four 
Vlll-inch; Braziliera— Act Master W. T. Gillespie, six 32-pounder8; 


Restless— Act. Master W. R. Browne ; Midnight— Act. Master N. Kirby. 
one 20-pounder Parrott pivot, six 32-pouDders ; Fernandina — Act. Mas- 
ter £. Moses, six 32-pouQder8, one 20-pounder Parrott pivot, one 24- 
pounder S. B. howitzer. 

MoRTAB-sCHOONERS. — C. P. Williams — Act. Master S. N. Freeman, 
two 32-pounders, one 20-pounder Parrott rifle, one Xlll-inch mortar; 
Para — Act, Master E. G. Furber, Act. Master Edward Ryan, two 32- 
pounders, one X Ill-inch mortar; Norfolk Packet — Act. Ensign CTeorge 
W. Wood, two 32-pounders, one Xlll-inch mortar, one 12-pounder rifle 

Storeships. — Vermont — Com. William Reynolds, ten Vlll-inch, 
eight 32-pounders ; Valparaiso — ^Act. Master A. 8. Gardner. 

Tuus, Tenders, and Despatch-boats.— O. M. Pettit, Act. Ensign 
T. E. Baldwin, one 20-pounder Parrott, one 30-pounder Parrott ; Rescue 
— Act. Ensign C. A. Blanchard, one 20-pounder Parrott, one 12-pounder 
rifle howitzer ; Hope — Act. Master J. E. Rockwell, one 20-pounder Parrott 
pivot; Daffodil — Act. Master E. M. Baldwin, one 20-pounder Parrott 
rifle, one 20-pounder Dahlgren rifle; Dandelion — Act. Ensign William 
Barrymore, two guns ; Columbine — Act. Master J. S. Dennis, Act. En- 
sign E. Daly, two 20-pounder Parrotts; G. W. Blunt— Act. Master J. R. 
Beers, one 12-pounder rifle howitzer, one 12-pounder S. B. howitzer; 
America — Act. Master J. Baker; Oleander — ^Act. Master J. S. Dennis, 
two 30-pounder Parrott pivots. 


Rejxyrt of Brigadier- General George C Strong, U. S. Army, com- 
manding Brigade. 

Morris Island, S. C, ) 
July 10, 1863. ) 
General : Pursuant to instructions of yesterday from division head- 
quarters, I embarked during the night in row-boats, at a point near the 
south-western extremity of Folly Island, all the infantry of my brigade, 
with the exception of six companies of the Forty-eighth regiment New 
York volunteers. Convoyed by four howitzer-boats, supplied by the 
admiral, we proceeded, at 1 A. M. to-day, up Folly River and Folly Isl- 
and Creek, and thence to a point in Lighthouse Inlet, one mile north-we:<t 
from our masked batteries at the northern extremity of Folly Island. 
This point of the inlet was reached just before daybreak, and here we 
awaited the result of the bombardment of Morris Island commenced at 
6 A. M. by our batteries. Lieutenant-Commander Bunce also opened 
Are from the howitzer-boats soon after upon the nearest of the enemy's 


About 6 A. M. a line of skirmishers was seen approaching from our 
rear in the direction of Secession vi lie. The flotilla accordingly dropped 
down the inlet to a point more exposed to the fire of the Morris Island 
batteries, where we were vigorously assailed by them, with, however, the 
loss of but a single launch. 

At about 7 A. M. I received from General Gillmore the signal to land 
and assault the enemy's works. Four companies of the Seventh Connec- 
ticut (the only companies of that regiment attached to my command), 
gallantly led by Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman, immediately landed at the 
extremity of the enemy's extensive series of rifle-pits opposite the left 
of our batteries. They were followed by the four companies of the 
Forty-eighth New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Green ; the Ninth Maine 
regiment, Colonel Emery; the Third New Hampshire, Colonel Jack- 
son; and the Seventy -sixth Pennsylvania, Colonel Strawbridge. 

This, the main column, drove the enemy's infantry out of the rifle- 
pits, while the Sixth Connecticut regiment. Colonel Chatfield, having 
passed along the entire front of the enemy's line and effected a landing, 
was forming his command on the south-easterly point of the island, and 
alone constituted our right column of assault. 

The two columns now moved forward under a lively discharge of shell, 
grape, and canister, converging toward the works nearest the southern 
extremity of the island, and thence along its commanding ridge and 
eastern coast, capturing successively the eight batteries, of one heavy 
gun each, occupying the commanding points of that ridge, besides two 
batteries, mounting, together, three X-inch sea-coast mortars. All this 
ordnance is in serviceable condition. As soon as the troops had disem- 
barked the boats were sent across the inlet to the northern point of 
Folly Island, and brought thence the remainder of the Forty-eighth 
New York, the One-Hundredth New York, and the Seventh New Hamp- 
shire regiment (the two last named being a portion of General Vogdes's 
brigade), commanded, respectively, by Colonels Barton, Dandy, and 
Patnam. The promptness with which this reinforcement was effected 
deserves special mention. 

We captured 150 prisoners (including 11 commissioned oflicers), 5 
stand of colors, a considerable quantity of camp-equipage and ammu- 
nition, and several horses and mules. 

We lost, of commissioned oflScers, 1 killed (the gallant Captain Lent, 
Forty-eighth New York volunteers) and 1 wounded ; of non-commis- 
sioned officers and privates, 14 killed and 90 wounded. 

The head of the column was halted within musket-range of Fort 
Wagner, situated near the northern extremity of the island, to which 
the enemy had retreated, and which was not to-day assaulted on 
account of the excessive heat of the weather and consequent fatigue 
of our troops. 

I believe that I cannot too highly commend the coolness and courage 


of my officera and men in the somewhat hazardous operation of landing 
in the face of the enemy. 

Lieutenant-Commander R. M. Bunce, U. S. Navy, commanding the 
howitzer-boats, and Lieutenant A. S. McKenzie, U. S. Navy, in cliarge 
of the boats furnished from the fleet for our transportation, and the 
officers and men under their respective commands, did most gallant 
and valuable service. 

Lieutenants Hatfield and Hickok of the Signal Corps maintained 
constant and perfect communication between my command and the 
head-quarters of the division and of the department. 

The other officers of my staff, Captain William VV. Harral, aide-de- 
camp; Major J. I.Plimpton, acting assistant inspector-general; Lieu- 
tenant Alvan H. Libby, acting assistant adjutant-general; Captain 
Edward F. Wyman, acting brigade commissary; Lieutenant Frank 
J. Magee, acting brigade quartermaster, and Surgeon Stephen F. 
Elliott, brigade surgeon, have my thanks for untiring and effective 
co-operation from the commencement of the embarkation and con- 
spicuous gallantry during the action. 

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Geo. C. Strong, 
Brigadier- General J commanding Forces on Morris Island. 

Brigadier-General Truman Seymour, 

Commanding U, S. Forces on Morris and Folly Islands, S, (7. 

Head-quarters U. S. Forces, | 
Morris Island, S. C, July 11, 1863. ) 

General : Pursuant to instructions from department head-quarters, 
a column of assault was formed before daybreak this morning for an 
attack upon Fort Wagner. This column consisted of four companies 
of the Seventh Connecticut volunteers, the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania, 
and the Ninth Maine regiments. The Third and Seventh New Hamp- 
shire regiments formed the reserve. 

The assault was made at daybreak: the Seventh Connecticut deployed 
in the advance, supported by the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania and Ninth 
Maine, in the order named, and each in close column of divisions. 

The leading battalion had received orders to dash forward with a shout 
when the enemy should open fire, and the other battalions were directed 
to maintain their respective intervals. 

These orders were most faithfully observed by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Rodman of the Seventh Connecticut, who led a portion of his command, 
under a very heavy fire of artillery and musketry, to the top of the 
parapet, where two of the enemy's gunners were bayoneted by his men. 

But, unfortunately, when the enemy opened simultaneously along his 
whole line and within a range of 200 yards, the Seventy-sixth Pennsyl- 


vania halted and lay down upon the ground. Though they remained in 
this position but a few moments, and afterward moved gallantly forward, 
some of them even to the ditch, that halt lost the battle, for the interval 
was lost and the Seventh, unsupported, were driven from the parapet. 
The whole column, including the Ninth Maine, which had reached the 
ditch on the left, gave way and retreated from the field. We lost in 
killed, wounded, and missing, 8 commissioned officers and 822 non-com- 
missioned officers and privates. Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman, Seventh 
Connecticut volunteers, the bravest of the brave, is among the wounded. 

The Seventy -sixth Pennsylvania regiment, heretofore bearing the rep- 
utation of a most gallant and thoroughly disciplined organization, will 
have another and early opportunity to efface the remembrance of their 
involuntary fault. The causes of their failure, and hence the failure 
of the assault, were first, the sudden, tremendous, and simultaneous fire 
which all encountered ; and, second, the absence of their colonel, who 
was taken ill before the column was put in motion. 
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Geo. C. Strong, 
Brigadier- Oeneraly commanding, 

Brigadier-General Truman Seymour, 

Commanding U. JS. Forces on Morris and Folly Islands, S, C. 

Reports of Colonel R, F. Oraham, commanding Morris Island, 
July 10th and 11th. 

Head-quarters Fort Johnson, ) 
July 18, 1863. J 

Captain: 1 beg leave to submit the report of the engagement on 
Friday, the 10th instant, by which the Abolitionists gained possession 
of the works on Morris Island south of Battery Wagner. 

I was aware that an attack was shortly to be made on Morris Island 
by the unmasking of extensive works on Little Folly Island on Thurs- 
day morning, and also by the arrival of four iron-clad monitors off the 
bar, which was reported to district head-quarters and reinforcements 
asked for. 

On Friday, the 10th instant, the engagement began by the batteries 
on Little Folly Island opening with a terrific fire before sunrise on the 
works at the south end of Morris Island, and soon afler by the iron- 
clads from the sea on the left, and several barges with howitzers in 
Lighthouse Creek on the right. The fire was gallantly replied to by 
the artillerists under the immediate command of Captain J. C. Mitchel. 
The infantry force was immediately formed and put in position to resist 
a landing at Oyster Point, and placed under the command of Major 
George W. Mclver, Twenty-first South Carolina volunteers. This force 
consisted of the Twenty-first South Carolina volunteers, numbering about 


400 men, and a detachment of Company D, First South Carolina regular 
Infantry [Third Artillery], numbering about 40 men, under the com- 
mand of Captain C. T. Haskell, Jr. 

About one hour and a half after the engagement commenced the 
enemy landed, under cover of their fire, at Oyster Point, between 2000 
and 3000 strong, and a destructive fire was directed against them by our 
batteries. They were promptly met by the infantry force under Major 
Mclver, and held in check until a like force was landed in front of the 
batteries under cover of the bank of the creek, the tide being low. At 
this time a portion of Nelson's battalion came up. I hurried them to 
the support of the batteries. They did not get in position, however, for 
the front line of our works was in the possession of the enemy, and one- 
half of the force under the command of Major Mclver was either killed 
or wounded, and more than half of the officers. I then ordered the 
whole force to retire, which they did in order, firing as they retreated. 
When about halfway back to Battery Wagner the rest of Nelson's bat- 
talion came up. I had them formed in line of battle to cover the 
retreat. The iron monitory followed us along the channel, pouring 
into us a fire of shell and grape. When the exhausted and wounded 
had got sufliciently to the rear, I then ordered the whole to retire to 
Battery Wagner. 

The Twenty-first South Carolina volunteers lost in killed, wounded, 
and missing 183. Captain Haskell's company lost 12. The artillery 
command lost 100. 

Of the whole command, I must say that they fought bravely and 
well. Many individual acts of gallantry could be mentioned, but where 
all did well it would be invidious to report them. I cannot, however, 
fail to mention the gallant conduct of Captain W. E. Stoney, acting 
assistant adjutant-general to the command. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

R. F. Graham, 
Colonel Twenty-first South Carolina volunteers, commanding. 

Head-quarters Fort Johnson, ) 
July 18, 1863. I 

Captain : I beg leave to submit the following report of the assault 
made by the enemy on Battery Wagner on the morning of the 11th 
instant : 

My command consisted of the Twenty-first South Carolina volunteers, 
about 200 men, under the command of Major Mclver; Seventh South 
Carolina battalion, about 300 men, under the command of Major J. H. 
Rion; four companies First [volunteers | Georgia, Colonel C. H. Olm- 
stead ; four companies Twelfth Georgia battalion,^ Lieutenant-Colonel 

1 This battalion was under command of M^jor G. M. Hanvey. 


H. D. Capers; and three companies Eighteenth Georgia battalion, 
Major W. S. Basinger, the three detachments numbering about 500 
men, all under the command of Colonel Olmstead ; a detachment of 
Company D, First South Carolina [regular] Infantry [Third Artillery], 
numbering 20 men, under the command of Lieutenant J. Moultrie 
Horlbeck. The artillery force consisted of Companies E, I, and H, 
First South Carolina Artillery, numbering about 70 men, under the com- 
mand of Captain Mitchel; the Gist Guard, Captain C. E. Chichester; 
the Mathewes Artillery, Captain J. R. Mathewes, numbering 100 men ; 
all under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Yates. 

The whole garrison remained under arms during the night, and a 
picket force of 150 men under the command of Major Rion was sent in 
advance of the battery. Fearing an attack at daylight, I had the gar- 
rison aroused and put in position. The First Georgia, Eighteenth bat- 
talion, and detachment First South Carolina [regular] Infantry [Third 
Artillery] were placed on the left, the Twenty-first South Carolina vol- 
unteers in the centre, and the Twelfth Georgia battalion and Seventh 
South Carolina battalion on the right. 

At the dawn of day the pickets warned us of the approach of the 
enemy. Three volleys were fired into the approaching enemy, and the 
whole picket force retired into the fort without loss. The enemy 
advanced in two columns, one on the beach and the other on the 
island. I allowed them to get within a short distance of the works, 
and gave the word *' Fire I" A few of the front line reached the para- 
pet. The rest fled in confusion, and when the smoke cleared away 
they were out of sight. Those who reached the parapet never re- 

I sent out a party, who returned with over 130 prisoners : 97 were left 
dead in front of the battery. We buried over 100. The burying- 
party was driven in by the sharpshooters of the enemy when they at- 
tempted to go beyond the mound in front of the battery. Many of 
their killed still lay beyond that point, so I cannot properly estimate 
their loss. 

My loss was 1 ofiScer killed and 5 privates, 1 ofiicer wounded and 5 
privates, all from the Georgia troops. 

The whole garrison stood to their post«( firmly, without flinching. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

R. F. Graham, 
Colonel Jhpenty-first South Carolina volunteers, commanding, 
tin W. F. Nance, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 


Report of Colonel Harris, Chief Engineer, on Defenses of Morris 


Office Chief Engineer of Department, ) 
Charleston. January 14, 1864. J 

General G. T. Beauregard, 

Comdg, Dept. S, C, Ga., and Fla,, Charfeston, S, C. : 
General : I have the honor to reply to the accompanying queries, 
addressed to Brigadier-General R. 6. Ripley, commanding First Militan* 
District, by Lieutenant-Colonel A. Roman, assistant inspector-general, 
under date of December 12, 1863, which have beeu referred to me for 
my remarks: 

1. Morris Island offers much greater natural advantages than Sul- 
livan's Island against such a combined attack by land and sea as was 
made on the 10th of July last, the natural formation of the sandhills on 
the south end of Morris Island being much better calculated, without 
the aid of artificial defenses, to repel an attack across Lighthouse Inlet 
than those of Sullivan's Island across Breach Inlet. The sandhills on 
the south of Morris Island also offer much better cover for troops than 
the corresponding hills on the east of Sullivan's Island. 

2. Two thousand infantry, in addition to the artillery requisite to 
serve the guns on Morris Island, could have repulsed the attack of the 
enemy on the 10th of July. Three thousand men of all arms I should 
have regarded as a full garrison for the island. Sullivan's Island, not 
having been threatened with a land-attack at that time, 1500 infantry, 
in addition to the cavalry and artillery on the island, would have been, 
I think, sufficient for the safety of the island. Thirty-five hundred 
men of all arms would have then constituted a full garrison for that 

5. The only labor available for the works on the south end of 
Morris Island was details of soldiers from Colonel Graham's regi- 
ment — say of 100 to 150 men daily — which Captain Cheves reported 
were so steadily employed as " to prejudice their drill and other camp 

, duties." 

6. It would have taken twelve months to have constructed such a work 
as Battery Marshall now is on the south end of Morris Island, with this 

7. Orders were given for the erection of the detached batteries on the 
10th of March, and the work was commenced two days thereafter. 

8. The works that I contemplated constructing would, if finished, 
have permitted a reduction of 300 to 500 men in the forces necessary t^ 
have repelled the assault of the 10th of July. 

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient 
servant, D. B. Harris, 

Colonel and Chief Engineer of Deparimeni, 


[In the Appendix to the second volume of General Beauregard's Mli- 
tary Operations may be found a very full correspondence between Brig- 
adier-General Ripley and himself on the subject of the descent of the 
Union troops on Morris Island, July 10, 1863. Some of the questions 
propounded by General Beauregard and answered by Brigadier-General 
Ripley are too important to be omitted. They are therefore extracted 
from their respective reports, and presented below in a form more direct 
and categorical than they appear in the full correspondence :] 


" 4th. Even with works on the south end of Morris Island, and the 
small force then available for its defense, could not the enemy have 
landed, with the assistance of their gunboats and iron-clad fleet, a strong 
force on the beach north of Craig's Hill during the night, cut off the 
retreat of the troops south of it, and then crossed, almost unmolested, 
Little Folly Inlet?" 


" 7b the 4th guestion : In my opinion, it would have been possible, had 
the works at the south end of the island been completed, and with the 
small force at our disposal, for the enemy by a bold dash from their 
iron-clads and gunboats to have cut off the retreat of the troops south 
of CFaig's Hill. Nevertheless, as it was intended that the whole beach 
should be swept with grape, and the landing is quite diflicult, it is in my 
opinion doubtful whether he would have undertaken so hazardous an 
enterprise. He would probably have attempted to shell out the work at 
the south end directly ; or, still more, changed his point of attack ; or, 
what is still more probable, had we been iiilly prepared he never would 
have made it." 

[General Ripley's answer to this question is a plain affirmative, as ex- 
pressed in the first sentence. All the rest of the reply is irrelevant, 
while the assertion that "the landing is quite difficult" is not borne 
out by the facts of a smooth, gently-sloping beach and sandhills sufficient 
for ready cover. — J. J.] 


" 8th. What was your force of infantry in the district, and how dis- 


" To the 8th question : My force of infantry was in all 2462 effective — 
1184 on James Island, 612 on Morris Island, and 204 on Sullivan's; 
and 462 in Charleston." 

I "9th. Could a better disposition have been made of it?" 



" To the 9ih question : I do not know that a better disposition could 
have been made ; for had we concentrated on Morris Island the enemy 
would at once have turned to James Island. He might have gone to 
Sullivan's Island by way of Long Island, but, having a foothold on 
James, and that being the most vital approach to Charleston, could he 
have taken our extended lines by a coup-d^-main he would have selected 
that route. The opportunity would have been given him had we reduced 
the small force of infantry on that island. Had I had the troops, I should 
have thrown 2500 men on Morris Island to meet this attack. These 
would have been about as many as could have been advantageously 
ufc^ed, and the number is about the fullest strength the garrison has been 
increased to at any one time since the 10th of July. Jamess Island, 
under the circumstances, ought — the enemy having a position on it — to 
have been watched by from 3000 to 5000 infantry, besides the cavalry 
and artillery. An estimate for defense must of course be made as 
against certain attacks, and while the enemy has transportation in 
abundance, with a powerful steam navy, both offensive and transport, 
ours being deficient in both respects, and not sufficient for current ser- 
vice; he having the option which route to choose, we are compelled to 
guard all at once to such an extent as will prevent a complete surprise 
of some one of them. 

" These remarks will, I think, answer the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and 
thirteenth interrogatories. In answer to the fourteenth, fifteenth, and 
sixteenth, I think had we decreased our force on James Island by any 
number sufficient to have given positive strength to any other point, and 
the enemy had chosen and acted with as much ^fat as he did at the 
south end of Morris Island or at either of the two assaults on Battery 
Wagner, he could have penetrated our long, unguarded lines in a day, 
and obtained possession of the approaches to Charleston, which, if he 
chose to make use of tliem, would have at once cut off our communica- 
tions with Morris Island and Fort Sumter. I consider it fortunate, 
under all circumstances, that, situated as we were, the enemy chose the 
Morris Island route." 


Sortie from Battery Wagner. — Report of Major James H, Rion, 
Seventh South Carolina Battalion, 

Battery Wagner. 
Morris Island, July 15, 1863. 


Captain: In pursuance of orders from Brigadier-General Taliaferro, 
commanding on Morris Island, I advanced last night about 12 upon the 
enemy's line uport this island, having with me 150 men from the Fifty- 


first North Carolina volunteers, Twelfth Greorgia battalion, Eighteenth 
Georgia battalion. Twentieth South Carolina volunteers, and Seventh 
South Carolina battalion. When the line of skirmishers arrived within 
one hundred and fifty yards of the boat-house (three-quarters of a mile 
distant), the advanced picket of the enemy fired upon them. This ad- 
vanced picket was at once driven in, and, upon my right wing advancing 
rapidly, it was fired into by men in a rifle-trench extending across the 
island at the boat-house, just on this side of the graveyard. This is 
three-quarters of a mile from this battery. We returned the fire from 
both wings (the left fifty yards in rear of right, en Echelon) ^ and advanced 
upon the trench, when the enemy retreated out of it. When the right 
was within ten or fifteen yards of the trench, a very heavy fire from about 
1000 men was opened upon us from a line some one hundred yards in 
rear of the trench. 

After examining the trench (a very strong rifle-pit extending from the 
beach to the marsh, two hundred and fifty yards), and finding that the 
line would not advance in face of the fire, which illuminated all the 
ground in front and was very heavy, I withdrew the line, bringing off 
the wounded we found and one of the enemy's advanced picketfi, whom 
we had captured. Afterward we took another prisoner, whom I had sent 
through my lines when advancing against the rifle-trench. 

Light pieces {about 12-pounders) were fired from Vinegar Hill, some 
three hundred yards in rear of the rifle-trench, and a very heavy gun 
wa« fired from Gregg's Hill, about two miles from this battery. 

Upon finding that some men were missing, I returned with my com- 
mand toward the enemy's position, and brought to the rear some more 
wounded, without being fired upon from the rifle-trench. Upon learn- 
ing that one of the Seventh South Carolina battalion was subsequently 
discovered to be missing, I again returned with 20 men from that bat- 
talion, and found the wounded man near'the trench, and brought him 
off, without receiving a shot from the rifle-trench, which evidently had 
been abandoned. 

Our loss was 11 wounded (1 since dead) and 3 missing. Of the wound- 
ed, 1 was mortal, 2 were severe, and 8 slight. 

The enemy's loss in killed and wounded, judging from the bodies I 
saw in the trench, must have been as many as 40. We also took, as 
ordered by the brigadier-general commanding, 2 prisoners. 

This report is very hurried, and consequently disconnected. You will 
please, however, submit it for the consideration of the brigadier-general 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

James H. Rion, 
Major Seventh South Carolina Battalion, comdg. Attacking Party. 

Captain W. E. Stoney, 

Assistant Adjutant- General, 

Ixxviii APPENDIX. 

Report oj Brigadier' General Johnson Hagood, C. S. Army, «w»- 
manding on James Island. 

Hd-qrs. 1st Subdivision 1st Mil. Dist. South Cabolina, ) 
James Island, July 18, 1863. ) 

Captain : I have the honor to make the following report of the ope- 
rations of the troops under my command on the 16th instant: 

I had been instructed on the day previous to observe and report the 
possibility of offensive operations against the enemy in my front, and 
had reported two plans. The one which was limited to driving in their 
pickets on the left and making a reconnoissance of that part of their 
line, with the further object of capturing or destroying the part of their 
force nearest Grimbairs, was the one approved. 

The enemy occupied Battery Island and Legar^'s plantation princi- 
pally, and a part of GrimbalVs, while their gunboats lay in the Stono 
and Folly Rivers, giving a cross-fire in front of their position extending 
as far as our picket-line. General Colquitt was ordered with about 1400 
infantry and a battery of artillery to cross the marsh dividing Legar^'s 
plantation from Grimball's at the causeway nearest Secessionville, 
drive the enemy as far as the lower causeway (nearest Stono), rapidly 
recross the marsh at that point by a flank movement, and cut off and 
capture the force encamped at Grimball's. Colonel Way, Fifty-fourth 
Georgia, with about 800 infantry, was directed to follow, en ichehn, 
on the Grimball side of the marsh the advance of General Colquitt and 
co-operate with him. A reserve of one section of artillery, supported 
by a company of infantry and a squadron of cavalry, under Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Jeffords, Fifth South Carolina Cavalry, was held in hand 
near Rivers's house. On the right, a battery of four rifled 12-pouuders 
and one of four Napoleons, under Lieutenant-Colonel Kemper, sup- 
ported by Colonel Radcliffe with about 400 infantry, were ordered to 
engage the gunboats lying highest up the Stono. 

The troops moved upon the enemy in the gray of the morning, be- 
coming immediately engaged, and the whole enterprise was carried out 
as planned. The force at Grimball's, however, was smaller than was 
anticipated, and by retreating across to Battery Island as soon as Col- 
quitt's firing was heard, managed to save themselves before he could get 
into position to intercept them. Colonel Kemper engaged the Pawnee 
and another gunboat at two hundred and fifty yards, and after some ten 
rounds drove them down the river beyond his range. The reserve artil- 
lery was not brought into action. The cavalry did good service in sweep- 
ing up fugitives. The troops were under fire one hour and a half, and 
behaved well. This fire was chiefly shell from gunboats and shell and 
case from a field-battery. The enemy's infantry fought badly. They 
were chiefly colored troops, and 14 of them were captured. These be- 


longed to the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts. About 30 of the enemy were 
killed upon the field. 

I beg leave to refer to accompanying reports of subordinate command- 
ers for full details. 

The enemy were supposed not to have been above 2000 infantry and 
one battery of artillery. Upon the following night they evacuated James 
and Battery Islands, leaving behind them arms and stores, of which a 
full return will be made. 
Our casualties were 3 killed, 12 wounded, and 3 missing. 
Colonel William Bull and Captain A. N. T. Beauregard of the staff 
of General Beauregard, and Captain B. H. Read of General Ripley's 
staff, reported to me for duty upon the occasion, and, together with my 
own staff, rendered efficient service. 

I am, captain, your obedient servant, 

Johnson Hagood, 
Brigadier- General^ commanding. 
Captain W. F. Nance, 

Assufiant Adjutant- Oeneral. 

Return of Casualties in the Union Forces engaged near GhrimbaWs 
Landing, James Island^ S. C, July 16, 1863, 

[Compiled firom nominal list of casualties, returns, etc.] 


Officers. f* 








Captured or 











1 _ . 



£ ' 1 

B c 
. w 

. . . i 12 

... 1 r> 

I^t Connpoticnt Datterv 

l.^l Ma>Hac'hu»etts (cavalry detachment) 
2-lth Mas.sachii«i«etts Infiintry 

■'**'' 1 

! 1 

Mth Ma.ssachusett8 Infantry (colored; . . 
Total . . 

. . . 

"l "l4~ 

'-' - 

< . . _ ■■ -_ 

Report of Brigadier- General T. Seymour on Assault of Battery 
Wagner on 18th of July, 

.... My instructions from Brigadier-General Gill more were to open 
fire at daybreak, but an excessively heavy rain had fallen during the 
preceding night, so flooding the works and deranging our affairs gen- 
erally that it could not be commenced until after nine o^clock. A 


deliberate experimental fire was first directed, which gradually became 
as rapid as accuracy would allow. The monitors, the Ironsides, and 
other vessels moved up, and from about noon until nightfall the fort 
was subjected to such a weight of artillery as had probably never before 
been turned upon a single point. The garrison remained closely under 
shelter, returning only an occasional gun, and there was no evidence, 
from close personal observation, that any material damage had been 
done to the artillery of the fort. Our own guns were, in fact, too far dis- 
tant for accurate dismounting fire, and a portion of the right batters- 
was so far useless, from improper location, that its gunners could not 
even see the object at which they fired. Nevertheless, it was presumed 
that under such intense fire some demoralization must have been effected 

About an hour before sunset I received instructions from Brigadier- 
General Gillmore to arrange for an assault. It was suggested to me that 
tlie brigade of General Strong would suffice, but it was finally under- 
stood that all the force of my command should be held ready for the 
work. The division was accordingly formed on the beach and moved to 
the front. It consisted of three fine brigades. 

The First, under Brigadier-General Strong, was composed of the 
Forty-eighth New York, Colonel Barton ; Seventy-sixth Pennsylvanfa, 
Captain J. S. Littell ; Third New Hampshire, Colonel Jackson ; Sixth 
Connecticut, Colonel Chatfield; Ninth Maine, Colonel Emery; and, 
temporarily, the Fifty- fourth Massachusetts, Colonel Shaw. 

The Second brigade, under Colonel Putnam, Seventh New Hampshire, 
consisted of the Seventh New Hampshire, Lieutenant-Colonel Abbott; 
One Hundredth New York, Colonel Dandy ; Sixty-second Ohio, Colonel 
Pond ; and Sixty-seventh Ohio, Colonel Voris. 

The Third brigade was commanded by Brigadier-General Stevenson, 
and consisted of four excellent regiments. 

General Strong was to take the advance. I had informed him that he 
should be promptly supported if it were necessary. Colonel Putnam 
was instructed to keep his brigade ready for following up the First, while 
General Stevenson was held in reserve. 

That moment was chosen for moving forward when the dusk of the 
evening still permitted the troops to see plainly the way, already well 
known to the First and Second brigades, but was yet sufficiently indis- 
tinct to prevent accurate firing by the enemy. Our troops were to use 
the bayonet alone. 

Half the ground to be passed over was undulating from small sand- 
hills, affording some shelter, but not so rough as to prevent free move- 
ment of troops. That part of it next the fort was quite smooth and 
unobstructed to the very ditch. 

The Fifty- fourth Massachusetts, a colored regiment of excellent 
character, well officered, with full ranks, and that had conducted it^^elf 


comineodably a few days previously on James Island, was placed in 

Brigade commanders were advised to form in column of deployed 
regiments. The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts only, being too large to 
admit this development, was in two lines. 

Once in advance of our batteries, a few encouraging words were given 
to the men, and the First brigade launched forward. It had not moved 
far before the fort, liberated somewhat from the pressure of our fire, 
opened with rapid discharges of grape and canister, and its parapet was 
lit by a living line of musketry. More than half the distance was well 
passed when, present myself with the column, I saw that to overcame 
such resistance overpowering force must be employed. Major Plimpton, 
Third New Hampshire, my assistant inspector-general, was sent to order 
the Second brigade forward at once. To my surprise, this oflScer returned 
from Colonel Putnam, stating that he positively refused to move, with 
the explanation from Colonel Putnam that he had received orders from 
General Gill more to remain where he was. At this moment the wounded 
and many unhurt also were coming thickly from the front along the 
beach. General Strong had urged his command on with great spirit 
and gallantry, but his losses had been so severe that his regiments were 
much shaken, and the consequent confusion was much heightened by 
the yielding of the leading regiment, large portions of which fell harshly 
upon those in their rear. Fragments of each regiment, however — ^brave 
men, bravely led — went eagerly over the ditch, mounted the parapet, 
and struggled with the foe inside. But these efforts were too feeble to 
affect the contest materially. Prompt support was not at hand, and the 
First brigade, as a mass, had already retired, although detached portions, 
principally from the Forty-eighth New York and Sixth Connecticut, 
with the colors of those regiments, still clung to the fort. 

After a painful and unnecessary interval, Colonel Putnam, knowing 
that I had expected him to come up closely and to take an energetic 
share in the assault, had without further orders moved his command 
forward. This gallant brigade went steadily on, in spite of much loss 
and not a little falling to the rear, and, clearing rapidly the intervening 
8pace,' came to the aid of the noble fellows still battling on the parapet. 
By a combined and determined rush over the south-esLst angle of the 
fort, the enemy was driven from that portion of the work. Some hun- 
dred men were now inside, with Colonel Putnam at their head. The 
bastion-like space between the bombproof and the parapet was fully in 
our possession. Some of our officers and men mounted the bombproof 
itself, which completely commanded the interior of the fort. Strong 
efforts were made by the enemy to drive our brave fellows out, but 
unsuccessfully, and rebel officers and men were captured and sent to the 
i rear. For more than an hour this position was maintained by Colonel 
I Putnam, assisted by Colonel Dandy, One Hundredth New York ; Major 


Butler, Sixty-seventh Ohio; Major Coan, Forty-eighth New York; Cap- 
tain Klein, Sixth Connecticut, and a number of other very brave and 
devoted officers. And now Colonel Putnam, while waiting patieDtly for 
expected succor and urging his men to maintain the advantage that had 
been gained, was shot dead on the parapet — as brave a soldier, as cour- 
teous a gentleman, as true a man, as ever walked beneath the Stars and 

General Strong had long since been wounded. Colonel Chatfield, 
Sixth Connecticut ; Colonel Barton, Forty-eighth New York ; and Col- 
onel Shaw, Fifly-fourth Massachusetts, had fallen, after the most gallant 
efforts, in front of their commands ; and during the advance of the 
Second brigade I had been struck by a grape-shot and was compelled to 
retire. But I had previously sent Major Plimpton to order up Greneral 
Stevenson's brigade, which order was reiterated after my being hurt. 
You were sent by General Gillmore to take further command, and the 
Third brigade had no part in the attack. 

Finally despairing, after long waiting, of further assistance, the senior 
officerH at the fort withdrew our men (with exception of about 100, who 
could not be reached, and who were soon after captured), and what had 
been so dearly bought was abandoned to the enemy. 

And the failure must be ascribed solely to the unfortunate delay that 
hindered Colonel Putnam from moving promptly in obedience to my 
orders, and to his not being supported after he had essentially succeeded 
in the assault. 

Unsuccessful as we were, the highest praise is due to those noble men 
who did their full duty that night. Who can forget, while courage and 
generosity are admired by man, that glorious soldier Strong, or the 
heroic Putnam, or Chatfield the beloved, or Shaw, faithful and devoted 
unto death? Many more than these deserve lasting record, of the rank 
and file as well as of officers, but the loss of those of high command, 
and the scattering of the many wounded who were prominent actors in 
this scene, with the difficulty of procuring sufficient information other- 
wise, compel me to but a meagre outline. On every inch of the sands 
in front of Fort Wagner will be for ever traced in undying glory the 
story of the determination and courage of these men. 

I cannot close without thanking Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson and 
Captain Langdon, First Artillery, with the other officers of that arm, 
for their efficient and valuable services during the day. Major Plimp- 
ton, Third New Hampshire, rendered me the most energetic assistance. 
Lieutenant Stevens, Sixth Connecticut, one of my aides, a young man 
of great promise, was 'killed at my side. To Captain Peter R. Chad- 
wick, assistant adjutant-general. Lieutenant Charles N. Jackson and 
Lieutenant Holt, my aides, my thanks are also due for good conduct 
and prompt action at all times. Nor can I fail to call the attention of 
General Gillmore to the merits of Lieutenant Michie, U. S. Engineers, 


who labored early and late, with untiring zeal, in the preparations for 
this assault. 
Such reports as I have been able to obtain are herewith enclosed. 
And I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant. 

T. Seymour, 
Brigadier- General U. S, Volunteers, 
Brigadier-General J. W. Turner, 

Chief of Staff, Department of the South, 

Report of Brigadier' General William B. Taliaferro^ C\ S, Army, 

commanding on Morris Island, July 14th-19th and 2^d-26th, and 

afterward on James Island. 

July 21, 1863. 

Captain : I have the honor to report, for the information of the 
brigadier-general commanding the District of South Carolina, the opera- 
tions of the troops of my command on Morris Island during the week 
commencing Monday, 13th instant, and particularly the occurrences of 
Saturday, the 18th instant, which terminated in a most decisive and over- 
whelming repulse of the enemy. 

On Monday, the 13th instant, I made such an inspection of parts of 
the island as the limited means at my disposal offered, and on Tuesday 
morning relieved Colonel Graham of the command of the troops, includ- 
ing the garrisons of Forts Wagner and Gregg. I found that the Aboli- 
tionists occupied the island in force from the southern part to Gregg's 
Hill, upon which they were already erecting batteries, and had con- 
structed a signal-station — that they had thrown forward their skirmish- 
ers to a point indicated by a single palmetto tree (one mile and a 
quarter to their front and about three-quarters of a mile from Fort 
Wagner), at which last* post the undulating and successive ranges of 
sandhills shielded them and their operations from our view. In the 
course of the morning their riflemen gave us some annoyance, and 
during the day the wooden vessels of their fleet, aided by one turreted 
iron-clad, attacked our works, throwing some 300 heavy shell and shot. 
1 determined to make a slight reconnoissance at night to feel the enemy 
and to add to the confidence of the garrison, and ordered a party, con- 
si:fting of 150 men from various commands, under Major Rion of Nel- 
son's South Carolina battalion, to push forward, drive in the enemy's 
pickets, and feel its way until it encountered a heavy supporting force. 
This duty was gallantly and well performed. Major Rion pushed the 
pickets and the first reserve back upon a reserve brigade in such dis- 
order that the latter fired upon their retreating companions, inflicting a 
heavy loss in addition to the punishment already inflicted by Major 
Rion. I established rifle-pits some 200 yards outside the work (the 
nearest practicable point), and made such dispositions for holding the 


post against assault (by assigning each command its particular position, 
etc.) as were necessary. 

On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday the bombardment was kept up 
from the fleet from ten until five [o'clock] each day, the average number 
of projectiles thrown at the work being 300 daily, the casualties being 
few and the damage to the fort inappreciable, our work having beeu 
directed up to this time not in repairs, but to improvements at Forts 
Wagner and Gregg. During these three days the enemy, under cover 
of the sandhills, erected batteries on land, the nearest being about three- 
quarters of a mile off, and others extending from Gregg's Hill to the 
left, and distant about one and three-quarter miles from Fort Wagner. 
These batteries were gradually unmasked, and were, with the exception 
of the first, entirely without range of our guns. 

On Saturday, the 18th instant, at 8.15 A. M., the enemy, having dis- 
closed his land-batteries, brought up to their support his entire fleet, 
consisting of the Ironsides flagship, five monitors, and a large number 
of wooden steam-gunships. With this immense circle by laud and sea 
he poured for eleven hours, without cessation or intermission, a storm 
of shot and shell upon Fort Wagner which is perhaps unequalled in 
history. My estimate is that not less than 9000 solid shot and shell of 
all sizes, from XV -inch downward, were hurled during this period at the 
work. The estimate of others is very much greater. 

The garrison of the fort on this day consisted of the Charleston bat- 
talion, Lieutenant-Colonel P. C. Gail lard, whose position extended 
from the sally-port in Lighthouse Inlet Creek on the right, to the 
left until it rested on Colonel H. McKetban's regiment. Fifty-first 
North Carolina troops, which extended to the gun-chamber opposite 
tfce bombproof door, at which point, and extending along the fece of 
the work to the left to the sally-port next Fort Gregg, the Thirty-first 
North Carolina troops, Lieutenant-Colonel C. W. Knight, occupied 
the work. These positions for the infantry were verified by frequent 
inspections, and the several commands were required to sleep in |Kwi- 
tion, and each man was instructed as to the exact point which he should 
occupy, and which in any moment of conftision he would be required 
to gain and hold. In addition to this, a small portion of the Thirty- 
first North Carolina troops were held as a reserve in the parade, and a 
part occupied the parapet just to the right of the sally-port. 

On the outside of the fort two companies of the Charleston battalion 
held the sandhills along the beach and the face extending from the 
sally-port to the sea-beach. The artillerists occupied the several gun- 
chambers, and two light field-pieces were placed in battery outside of 
the fort on the traverse near the sally-port. The artillery command 
consisted of Captains W. T. Tatom and Warren Adams, First South 
Carolina [regular] Infantry [Third Artillery] ; J. T. Buckner and 
W. J. Dixon, Sixty-third Georgia Heavy Artillery, and Captain 


De Pass, commanding light artillery, all under the general command 
of Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Sim kins, chief of artillery. 

The infantry, excepting the Charleston battalion, and the artillery, 
excepting the gun detachments, were placed, shortly after the shelling 
commenced, under cover of the bombproofs. The first-named battalion, 
with a heroic intrepidity never surpassed, animated by the splendid 
example of their field officers (Lieutenant-Colonel Gaillard and Major 
David Ramsay), had no protection except such as the parapet afforded 
them, yet maintained their position without flinching during the entire 
day. The 10-inch gun was fired at intervals of ten to fifteen minutes 
against the iron-clads, and the heavy guns on the land face whenever 
the working-parties or cannoneers of the enemy on the land showed 
themselves within range. The mortar, in charge of Captain Tatom, 
was fired every half hour. 

The casualties during the day of the bombardment did not exceed 8 
killed and 20 wounded. 

About two o'clock the flag halyards were cut and the Confederate flag 
blew over into the fort. Instantly Major Ramsay, Charleston battalion. 
Lieutenant William E. Reddick, Sixty-third Georgia [Artillery], Ser- 
geant Shelton and Private Flinn, Charleston battalion, sprang forward 
and replaced it on the ramparts, while at the same time Captain R. H. 
Barnwell of the Engineers dashed out, seized a battle-flag, and erected it 
by the side of the garrison flag. This flag was subsequently shot away, 
and replaced by Private Gilliland, Charleston battalion. 

As night approached, the increased severity of the bombardment 
plainly indicated that an assault would be made, and orders were issued 
to the commands to prepare to man the ramparts. At 7.45 o'clock 
the lines of the enemy were seen advancing, and the bombardment 
slackened to an occasional shell from the ships and the land-batteries. 
As the enemy advanced they were met by a shower of grape and canister 
from our guns, and a terrible fire of musketry from the Charleston bat- 
talion and the Fifty-first North Carolina. These two commands gal- 
lantly maintained their position, and drove the enemy back quickly 
from their front with immense slaughter. 

In the mean time, on the left of the wojk the Thirty-first North 
Carolina could not be induced to occupy their position, and ingloriously 
deserted the ramparts, when, no resistance being offered at this point, 
the advance of the enemy, pushing forward, entered the ditch and 
ascended the work at the extreme left salient of the land face, and 
occupied it. I at once directed Lieutenant-Colonel Gaillard to keep 
up a severe enfilading fire to his left, and directed the field-pieces on 
the left of the fort outside of the sally-port to direct their fire to the 
right, so as to sweep the ditch and exterior slope of that part of the 
work thus occupied, and thus, at the same time, prevented the enemy 
from being supported at that point and cut off* all hope of his escape. 


The main body of the enemy, after a brief attempt to pass over the 
field of fire, retreated under the fire of our artillery and the shells of 
Fort Sumter, and must have suffered heavily as long as they were within 
the range of our guns. 

Colonel Harris of the Engineers, to whose skill I am much indebted, 
and whose coolness and gallantry were most conspicuous during the pre- 
vious day, placed a howitzer on the right of the fort outside the beach 
and co-operated with the guns on the leit. 

Thinking it advisable to dislodge the enemy at once, before they bad 
time to communicate their temporary success, I called for volunteer* to 
dislodge them. This call was promptly met by Major J. R. McDon- 
ald, Fifty-first North Carolina troops, and by Captain Ryan, Charleston 
battalion. I selected Captain Ryan's company, and directed them to 
charge the enemy in the salient. Thb work they advanced to with 
great spiri^ but, unfortunately, Captain Ryan was killed at the moment 
of the advance, and his men hesitated and the opportunity was lost 
Whenever the enemy showed themselves a sharp fire was kept up upon 
them by the Fifty- first North Carolina, and after considerable injury 
thus inflicted, a party of the Thirty-second Greorgia regiment having 
been sent along the parapet to the left and on the top of the mi^azine 
to approach their rear, they surrendered. In front of the fort the scene 
of carnage is indescribable. The repulse was overwhelming, and the 
loss to the enemy could not have been less than 2000, in killed, wounded, 
and prisoners — perhaps much more. 

Our loss I estimate at 50 killed and 150 wounded, but will forward an 
exact return. 

As to the damage done to the work and guns, I have the honor to refer 
you to the reports of the engineer oflScer and chief of artillery, which 
will be forwarded. I will remark this : While the injury done to the 
work is considerable, it is much less than could have been expected, 
and the damage to the guns, it is hoped, may be repaired in a short 

In conclusion, .... I am proud to bear testimony to the efllciency and 
gallantry of the other troops. Colonel H. McKethan's regiment. Fifty- 
first North Carolina troops, redeemed the reputation of the Thirty-first 
regiment. They gallantly sought their position under a heavy shelling, 
and maintained it during the action. Colonel McKethan, Lieutenant- 
Colonel C. B. Hobson, and Major McDonald are the field ofiicers of 
this regiment, and deserve special mention. 

The Charleston battalion distinguished themselves not only by their 
gallantry, but by their discipline and the cool performance of their duty 
and obedience to orders under the excitement and confusion always 
incident to a night attack. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Gaillard and the brave Major Ramsay (who, I 
regret to say, was severely wounded) deserve the highest expression 


of comiuendation for their conduct during the bombardment and the 

The artillery behaved throughout the day with remarkable courage. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Simkins had a most severe duty to perform during 
the day in directing the operations of the artillery. This, unflinch- 
ingly and admirably, he performed, and after the enemy's heavy guns 
had ceased he mounted the parapet and encouraged the infantry. There, 
on the ramparts in the frolit, this admirable soldier and accomplished 
gentleman sealed his devotion to our cause by an early but most heroic 

Captains Buckner and Dixon, Sixty-third Georgia, and Captain Adams, 
First South Carolina Infantry [Third Artillery], deserve especial men- 
tion ; but I desire to bring most conspicuously to the notice of the brig- 
adier-general commanding the name of Lieutenant J. H. Powe, whose 
coolness, skill, and gallantry were unsurpassed. I regret to*bay he was 
severely wounded. 

I would also especially mention Lieutenant T. D. Waties, command- 
ing the field-pieces on the left of the work, who was conspicuous for his 
gallantry and who was severely wounded ; and the skill, coolness, and 
gallantry of Captain DePass, who assumed command of his pieces after 
his fall. These pieces rendered most important service. 

I have doubtless omitted the names of many oflScers whose gallantry 
should be recorded, and shall in -a subsequent report endeavor to do jus- 
tice to all. 

I must, in conclusion, mention the good conduct of Sergeant John 
R. Williams of Lieutenant Powe's company, and Corporal Conneway 
of Twenty-second Greorgia battalion, who greatly distinguished them- 

To the oflBcers of my personal staff I am under obligations. 

I lament to record the death of the gallant Captain P. H. Waring, 
acting aide-de-camp, and the wounding of Captain H. D. D. Twiggs, 
assistant inspector-general, and Captain W. E. Stoney, aide-de-camp, 
who were stricken down, nobly discharging their duty. 

To Captain W. T. Taliaferro, assistant adjutant-general; Lieuten- 
ants E. Mazyck and H. C. Cunningham, ordnance officers, and Rich- 
ard K. Meade, aide-de-camp, and to Surgeon J. C, Habersham, Major 
E. L. Holcombe, and Captain Thomas A. Burke, I tender my thanks 
for their aid, etc. during the course of the week. 

I would especially mention Captain R. H. Barnwell of the Engi- 

The commands of Colonel C. H. Olmstead, Lieutenant-Colonel H. D. 
Capers, Major G. M. Hanvey, and Major W. S. Bassinger ; of Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel P. H. Nelson and Lieutenant-Colonel O. M. Dantzler ; and 
the artillery, under the admirable management of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Joseph A. Yates, with such officers as Captains J. R. Mathewe^ and 

lixxviii APPENblX. 

C. E. Chichester, deserve great credit for their bravery and zeal in the 
early part of the week. 
I have the honor to be, very respectftilly, your obedient servant, 

Wm. B. Taliaferro, 

Brigadier- GeneraL 
Captain W, F. Nance, 

Amstant Adjutant- General, 

Report of Lieutenant^ Golonel P, C. GaiUard, Ckarlegton BaUalim, 

Charleston, S. C, July 20, 1868. 

Captain : I have the honor to report that under orders from district 
head-quarters I reported for duty at Battery Wagner on Wedri^ay 
evening, the 15th instant, with ^ve companies of my battalion. I have 
no remarks to make upon any of the occurrences of the garrison, so far 
as my command is concerned, until Saturday, the 18th. 

On that day the enemy commenced between 7 and 8 a. m. a heavy 
bombardment from their fleet in the channel and from the land-batte- 
ries erected by them across Morris Island. The bombardment was kept 
up unremittingly until between 7 and 8 P. M. It may be proper here to 
state that for two or three hours in the afternoon it was most furious in 
its character. My command was exposed to its fiiry the whole day, 
never having left its position, and it is with pride I say it was 'not de- 
moralized in consequence of its exposure. Soon after dusk a violent 
assault was made upon the garrison by a strong force of infantry, which 
was repulsed by the garrison. Two of my companies (A and B) had 
been detached from my command, and posted outside the garrison near 
the sally-port at the north-east portion of the works. Of the operations 
of these two companies I cannot speak, as I was posted at the south- 
west portion of the work and remote from their position. 

I herewith submit report from Captain Blake, who commanded. The 
three companies (C, D, and F) under my immediate command met the 
infantry assault with great coolness and deliberation. This assault was 
repulsed in a short time, when I directed my men to cease firing; nor 
was it requisite to open fire with them again. Soon after I ceased firing 
Brigadier-General Taliaferro in person called upon me for a portion of 
my command to occupy one of the batteries on the sea face, which was 
then occupied by the enemy. Major David Ramsay was leading this 
detachment, when it was fired into, as is supposed, by some of our troops, 
wounding the major and several others, and killing two men. 

My officers and men behaved with admirable coolness throughout the 
whole affair, and it is impossible to particularize when all behaved well. 
I cannot omit, however, to mention the gallant bearing of Captain W. 
H. Ryan of Company C, who fell while leading a charge upon the bat- 
tery occupied by the enemy. 


I would also state that Sergeant William Shelton of Company C 
and Private John Flynn of Company F tied the garrison flag to a 
temporary staff and set it up on the parapet when the flag fell from the 
cutting of the halyards, and this, too, under a severe fire. 

I would also mention the conduct of Private A. Gilliland of Com- 
pany D, who at a later hour and under a severe fire set up' a hattle-flag 
which had been raised upon the parapet when the flag fell, and whicli 
was thrown down by the explosion of a shell in its vicinity. 
Inclosed I submit a list of C4isualties. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

P. C. Gaillard, 
Lieutenant' Colonel^ commanding. 
Captain W. T. Taliaferro, 

Assistant Adjutant- General, 

[Author's Note. 

It has been mentioned in a note (page lOr)) that Lieutenant James 
Campbell, Company F, of the Charleston battalion, was made prisoner 
in this assault. When General Taliaferro, commanding in Battery 
Wagner, first discovered the enemy in the salient, it was Lieutenant 
Campbell who volunteered alone to reconnoitre and report the situation. 
Moving boldly along the ridge of the main bombproof, he soon over- 
heard the men of the enemy talking in the gun-pit below him, and next 
on the north to the wilient itself. Emboldened still more by the expres- 
sions of alarm and demoralization on the part of the invaders, who 
realized that they were wellnigh cut off", he ordered them to surrender, 
but paid dearly for his venture when they, discovering him to be alone, 
instantly turned upon him and passed him under heavy fire to their 
rear. This officer had been distinguished for the same fearless conduct 
at Secessionville the year before.] 

Report of Commander B(dch. 

United States Steamer Pawnee, | 
Stono River, S. C, July 16, 1863. ) 
Sir: I have the honor to report that at 4.40 a. m., the Pawnee and 
Marblehead being at anchor near Fort Grimball, the enemy opened on 
us hotly from batteries distant about 600 yards, the first shot striking 
us, and the fire admirably given by the enemy. The position of the 
Pawnee was such that we could not get our guns to bear; and, seeing 
that we were powerless to inflict injury upon the enemy in that position, 
1 deemed it prudent to drop down the river, where I could bring my 
guns to bear; this I did, and directed the Marblehead to do likewise. 
We were at anchor in position where we could reach the enemy, and 


thiii Hhip, the Huron, and the Marblehead kept up a brisk fire on the 
enemy ; and, soon, by reference to the signals made by General Terry, 
we were telegraphed to cease firing, the enemy having retreated. 

The Pawnee was struck thirty-three times in the hull, three times in 
the smokestack, three boats damaged by shot, and some six shots in the 
I'lRgii^g- "^^6 chain-cable which I had put on the outside, I am happy 
to state, saved us from injury to our boilers. 

The casualties are, as reported by the surgeon, W. T. Hord, as fol- 
lows, and, considering the excessively hot fire, it is cause of great 
surprise that there should have been no more: viz. John W. Philip, 
lieutenant U. S. N., slightly wounded ; James P. Lindsay, acting master, 
U. S. N., slightly wounded ; James Madon, boatswain's mate, U. S. N., 
slightly wounded ; John B. Patterson, landsman, mortally wounded. 

My ofi^cers and men behaved in the coolest manner, and I was aided 
and admirably supported by Lieutenant-Commander Scott of the Mar- 
blehead, and as soon as the Huron could she opened handsomely. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Georoe B. Balch, 
Commander ^ and Senior Officer present. 

Rear- Admiral J. A. Dahlgren, 

Commanding S. A, B. Squadron. 


Brigadier- General Q. A. Gillmore reports the Demolition of Fort 


Head-quarters Department of the South, ) 
Morris Island, S. C, Augu«5t 24, 1868. ^ 
Major-General H. W. Halleck, 

General-in-Chief U. S. Army^ Washington^ I). C. 

Sir : I have the honor to report the practical demolition of Fort Sum- 
ter as the result of our seven days' bombardment of that work, during 
two days of which a powerful north-easterly storm most seriously dimin- 
ished the accuracy and effectiveness of our fire. 

Fort Sumter is to-day a shapeless and harmless mass of ruins. My 
chief of artillery, Colonel J. W. Turner, reports its destruction so far 
complete that it is " no longer of any avail in the defense of Charleston." 
He also says that " by a longer fire it could be made more completely a 
ruin and a mass of broken machinery, but could scarcely be more power- 
less for the defense of the harbor." 

My breach ing-batteries were located at a distance varying between 
3330 and 4240 yards from the work, and now remain as efiicient as ever. 
I deem it unnecessary to continue their fire at present upon the ruins 


of Sumter. I have also, at great labor and under a heavy fire from 
James Island, established batteries on my left within effective range of 
the heart of Charleston City, and have opened with them, after giving 
Greneral Beauregard due notice of my intention to do so. My notifica- 
tion to General Beauregard, his reply thereto with the threat of retalia- 
tion, and my rejoinder, have been transmitted to army head-quarters. 
The projectiles from my batteries entered the city of Charleston, and 
General Beauregard himself designates them as the most destructive 
missiles ever used in war. 

Very respectfully, etc., Q. A. Gillmore, 

Brigadier- General y commanding. 

Correspondence between Brigadier- General Gillmore and Rear- 
Admiral Dahlgren, 

Flag-steamer Dinsmore, ) 
Off Morris Island, July 20, 1863. J 
Dear Sir: I hope your efforts will be more successful next time. 
.... When ready I will support you with the vessels, and hope to 
quell the fire of the work as before, and drive the garrison to shelter. 
When the assault takes place in front, I propose fo land from boats one 
of your best regiments to assault the angle rearward and toward the 
water. I would also suggest a picked column of three or four hundred 
men to attack the angle rearward and landward, passing up the rivulet 
that enters Vincent's Creek ; for this I will also endeavor to furnish 
boats. Thus assaulted, and the enemy kept under shelter to the last 
moment, it seems to me that the gallantry of our troops cannot fail to 
carry them into the work. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

J. A. Dahlgren, 
Rear' A dmiral, com manding, 
Brigadier-General Q. A. Gillmore, 

Commanding Department of the Souths Morris Island, 

Head-quarters Department of the South, 1 
Morris Island, S. C, July 20, 1863. i 

Dear Sir : I am in receipt of your communication of this date sug- 
gesting a method of attacking Fort Wagner. I am pleased with the 
project. I had already determined to advance my batteries, and shall 
commence doing so to-night. I also like your plan of assaulting the 
work, although I would much prefer making two columns of attack 
only — one in front along the beach, and the other in rear, landing on 
the east side of Morris Island. 

It involves, however, the, consumption of mett, in which this army has 


already been a very severe sufferer. I began here with the minimum 
force deemed safe for any offensive operations. Of that force 1 have 
lost thirty-three per centum in killed, wounded, missing, and sick. My 
actual loss in killed, wounded,' and prisoners will not fall far short 
of twelve hundred men. As many more are laid up by sudden sickness 
occasioned by excessive fatigue-duty. 

With this more than triple decimation of my active available com- 
mand, I hesitated to incur any further immediate loss in the absence of 
powerful reasons to the contrary. 

If the navy can furnish sailors and marines for one of the columns 
of attack, I will supply the other or others, and a combined attack can 

be made on the work Should you desire to confer with me on 

this project I will come and see you. 

I have the honor to be, admiral, very respectfully, your obedient ser- 
vant, Q. A. GiLLMORE, 

Brigadier- General f commanding. 

Rear- Admiral J. A. Dahlgren, commanding. 

Head-quarters Department of the South, ) 
Morris Island, S. C, August 3, 1863. I 

Rear- Admiral Dahlgren, 

Commanding S, A. B. Squadron: 
Admiral : I am more and more convinced that we can practically 
invest this island, or at least keep all steamers away from Cumming's 
Point. Ijast night my look-out boat lay within four hundred yards of 
Cumming's Point until 1 1 P. M., and then moved in a northerly direc- 
tion, and remained within about one thousand yards of Fort Sumter 
(due west of the fort) until three o'clock this morning. Nothing visited 
Cumming's Point during the night except three rowboats. A large 
steamer anchored abreast of Fort Sumter just after dark, and remained 
there until just before daybreak, and then moved toward the city. I 
have made the san^e arrangements for to-night that were in force last 
night. I have no howitzer-boats. Could you not prevent the small 
boats reaching Cumming's Point with your boat-howitzers? 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Brigadier- Generaiy commanding. 

Flag-steamer Dinsmore, ) 

Off Morris Island, August 4, 1863. i 

General : Yours of the 3d has been received. In order that the 

object of it may be better attained, it will be advisable that the officer 

who observed for you inside of Cumming's Point should communicate 

how the boats, etc. should operate when the signal is made, and in what 


direction. If yoa will direct him to see me, there will he no difficulty 
in making the desired arrangements. 

I am very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

J. A. Dahlgren, 
Rear- Admiral J commanding, 
Brigadier-Gont^ral Q. A. Gillmore, 

U, S, A., commanding Department South, 

Head-quarters Department of the South, ) 
Morris Island, August 5, 1863. ) 

Admiral Dahlgren, 

Commanding S, A. B. Squadron : 
Admiral: .... I would say that a calcium light has been ordered 
from New York, and ought to reach here in the Fulton in about eight 
(lays from this time. With it I expect to be able to illuminate Cum- 
ming's Point, etc., so that my batteries and your boats can see it dis- 
tinctly, and be themselves in deep darkness. I hope and believe that 
we can effect satisfactory results with it. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Q. A. Gillmore, 
Brigadier- General, commanding. 

Head-quarters Department op the South, ) 
Morris Island, S. C, August 23, 1868. i 
Rear-Admiral John A. Dahlgren, 

Commanding S, A. B, Squadron, off Morris Island, S, C: 
My dear Sir: .... I desire to call your attention to the project 
frequently discussed, and deemed practicable by us both, of investing 
Morris Island as soon as Sumter should be rendered harmless, and 
starving the enemy into terms, I think I can close communication on 
my left as far out as to include Lighthouse Creek. Cannot picket-boats 
be managed between the mouth of that creek and your monitors, so as 
to complete the investment? .... 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Q. A. Gillmore, 
Brigadier' General, commanding. 

[By signals,] Off Morris Island, August 31, 1863. 

General Gillmore : I understand from my chief pilot that you 
will be able day after to-morrow to open and sustain a heavy fire on 


Sumter. I shall therefore postpone, at least for to-night, an intended 
movement. Abmi&al Dahlgren. 

[Btj signali,] MoRRis Island, August 31, 1863. 

Admiral Dahlgren: I regret that any verbal report from your 
chief pilot has caused the postponement of any intended movement^ 
when time is of such great value to the enemy in increasing the bat- 
teries on Sullivan's Island. Sumter did not fire on the monitors while 
they were in range to-day. I will open on Sumter to-morrow with five 
heavy guns, including two in the naval battery. 

General Gillmore. 

Morris Island, September 3, 1863. 
Rear-Admiral John A. Dahlgren, commanding: 

Dear Sir : . . . . The cutting off of the enemy's communications 
with this island forms an important element in this plan, and I hope 
it may commence to-night. Q. A. Gillmore, 

Brigadier- General J commanding. 

Attempt to Destroy the U, S. S. IrormdeSy off Owrleston Harbor, S. C, 

August 20-21, 1863, — Report of Captain J, Cariln, commanding 

Torpedo Ram, 

Charleston, August 22, 1863. 

General : I have tlie honor to report that I attacked the Ironsides 
on the night of the 20th, but regret to say, however, it was not accom- 
panied with any beneficial result 

I communicated with Fort Sumter at 10 p. M. and obtained a guard 
of 11 men, under command of Lieutenant E. S. Fickling. At 11.30 
p. M. I passed the obstructions, and at 12 sighted the Ironsides lying 
at anchor in the channel off Morris Island, with five monitors moored 
immediately in a south -south -west direction from her, and about 300 
yards distant. One monitor was anchored in the direction bearing upon 
Battery Gregg, and about half a mile diFtant. When I came within a 
quarter of a mile of the Ironsides I lowered the torpedoes and proceeded 
directly for the ship, feeling at the same time fully confident of striking 
her in the right place. At this time she was lying across the channel 
and heading for Morris Island. I steered up, keeping the object on 
our port bow, and when within forty yards from the ship I stopped the 
engine and ordered the helm put hard a-starboard. 

I attribute my failure to the want of proper execution of this order. 
I noticed the slow obedience of the ship to her helm, and again gave 


the order, repeating it three times. It was a moment of great anxiety 
and expectation, and, not doubting but I would strike her, I was obliged 
to attend to the proper command of the officers and men and restrain 
any undue excitement. In this I was ably assisted by the cool, cour- 
ageous bearing of Lieutenant Fickling, who commanded the force sta- 
tioned for defense. I discovered, as we ranged up alongside, that, in 
consequence of the Ironsides being in the act of swinging to the ebb, 
we must miss with our torpedoes, but feared that her chain cable would 
either ignite them or detain us alongside. In either case we -must have 
been captured. A kind Providence, however, intervened and saved our 
liule band from such disaster. When about fifty yards distant we were 
hailed, ** Ship ahoy!" After deliberating whether I should not give him 
w»me warning, I felt so sure of striking him, 1 finally answered ** Hello !" 
and in an official and stern tone as possible. Another hail, " What ship 
is that ?*• I answered, almost immediately, ** The steamer Live Yankee." 
We were still moving slowly past the b<»vv. I gave order to go ahead 
with the engine, and was informed at the same time that the enemy were 
boarding us. Without looking to see whether such was the case, I gave 
the order to defend the ship, and got my arms ready in time to prevent the 
firing upon some sailors that were looking at us from the ports. I saw 
they were not boarding, and I immediately ordered the men to hold and 
not fire. They dropped immediately, showing specimen of the effect of 
good discipline. Just at this time he hailed again, "Where are you 
from?" Answered, "Port Royal." I found that we had ranged just 
clear of his bow, and out of danger of being boarded except by launches. 
1 then went to the engine-room to see what was the matter, as fully two 
minutes had elapsed since the order had been given to go ahead. I 
found that the engine had caught upon the centre, and, notwithstand- 
ing a contined effort for at least four or five minutes, they failed to get 
started ahead. I was again hailed, " What ship is that?" Answered, 
"The United States steamer Yankee." 

I again went to the engine-room, and by encouragement to the engi- 
neers foiind her in the act of starting. Another hail and another called 
me to the deck, and as none of my officers heard the question, I sur- 
mised it to be an order to come to anchor or to surrender. I answered, 
"Ay, ay, sir; I'll come on board." I found we were moving ahead 
Mowly, and in two minutes must have passed out of his sight, as he 
w)mmenced firing in the opposite direction. He afterward fired, sweep- 
ing the horizon, two shots passing on either side about twenty feet off". 

It was my intention to attack one of the monitors, but after the expe- 
rience with the engine I concluded it would be almost madness to attempt 
it I therefore steered back to the city. 

General, in consequence of the tests to which I have put the ship in 
the two late adventures, I feel it my duty most unhesitatingly to express 
my condemnation of the vessel and engine for the purposes it was 


intended y and as soon as she can be docked and the leak stopped would 
advise making a transport of her. 

I beg to remain, respectfully, your obedient servant, 

J. Caelin. 
General G. T. Beaureoaud, 

Commanding at Charleston^ S, C. 

Hd-qrs. Dept. South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, ) 
August 20 [23J, 1863. i 

Captain; Your report of operations in the attempt to destroy the 
Ironsides during tlie night of the iSth [20th] instant has been received. 
I regret exceedingly that you should have met with so many difficulties 
in your disinterested and praiseworthy enterprise ; but I am happy to 
learn that you are still willing to retain the command of the torpedo- 
ram, for I know no one to whose skill and experience I would sooner 
trust the boat on so bold and gallant an undertaking. I feel convinced 
that another trial under more favorable circumstances will surely meet 
with success, notwithstanding the known defects of the vessel. 
Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

G. T. Beauregard, 
General commanding. 
Captain James Carlin, 

Commanding Torpedo-Ram, Charleston, S. C. 

Damages of the Bombardment of CJiarleston, S. C, Attg, 21-Dec. SI, 
1863,— Report of Major Henry Bryan, Assistant Inspector- General 
a S. Army. 

Charleston, January G, 1864. 
Colonel: In compliance with inclosed order, I have the honor to 
make the following report on the bombardment of Charleston by the 
Abolition army up to date. 

The general result hjis been the injury of a large number of dwell- 
ings and stores, and many banks, public halls, churches, etc., by the 
percussion and explosion of the shells thrown; the burninpj of six 
buildings and a cotton-press December 2f5, 1863, by a fire originating 
from the explosion of a shell ; and the destraction of some medical stores, 
August 21, 1863, by a shell bursting in the medical purvej'or's office and 
setting fire to it. It has further caused considerable social distress by 
obliging thousands of persons in the lower part of the city, in order to 
avoid danger, to leave their homes and close their hotels, and seek 
refuge in the upper portion of the city or in the interior of the State. 
This will expose valuable property to theft and to injury from the ele- 
ments. The • effect upon military operations here has been compara- 
tively unimportant, and has occasioned no loss of matiriel^ excepting 


the medical stores, worth ahout $1600. As a matter of prudence, all 
military head-quarters, offices, and hospitals have been moved out of 
range to the upper portions of the city, the signal corps remaining at 
its post, which is out of the line of fire. As equally good buildings 
have been found in the upper part of the city for these offices, hos- 
pitals, etc., their removal cannot be considered an injury to the army. 
The movements of harbor transportation have been much inconve- 
nienced, but not practically impeded by this bombardment. 

The casualties have been remarkably few, and fallen almost entirely 
upon the civilians who clung to their homes. The whole result has so 
far been utterly inadequate to the labors and boasts of the besieging 
forces. That they should attempt to intimidate the people of Charles- 
ton into a surrender of their city is not to be wondered at; but having 
plainly seen that the destruction of property did not shake their deter- 
mination, it is difficult to imagine what usage of civilization would jus- 
tify them in continuing it. 

Damage to Property. — This will be large, owing to the impracticability 
of repairs and consequent action of the elements on buildings laid open 
to it. The immediate damage from the shells cannot be considered large 
in proportion to the area within the enemy's range. From St. MichuePs 
steeple, which commands a full view, there is but a smalb appearance 
of destruction visible. By a rough inspection of the city yesterday with 
an intelligent local editor, who had already been taking accounts of the 
effects of the shelling, I learned that 126 buildings (including kitchens) 
had been struck by shells, about 85 being much injured and 41 only 
slightly. I presume that three-fourths of the houses struck can be 
repaired without pulling down any main wall; but a portion have 
rafters, joists, or corners very badly shattered — the South Carolina 
Hall (near St. MichaeFs Church), for instance, having been struck 
three times through the roof. 

Damage to Life, — Five deaths have resulted from the bombardment — 
viz. Mrs. Hawthorne, No. 70 Church street, wounded by shell in right 
side, and died six weeks after; Miss Plane, corner Meeting and Market, 
left foot crushed by shell, and died in six days; Mr. William Knighton, 
corner Meeting and Market, right leg taken off, and died in four days ; 
Mr. John Doscher, of German Fire Company, wounded at fire of De- 
cember 25th, and since died; Rebecca, slave of Mr. Lindsay, No. 5 
Beaufain street, killed instantly by shell. At the fire of December 25th 
there were 1 fireman, 1 policeman, and 4 soldiers slightly wounded. 

Number of Shots. — The number fired at the city from August 21, 1863, 
to January 5, 1864, as noted by the observer in St. Michaers, is 472. 
Of these 27 were thrown on August 21st, 22d, and 24th, and 3 on 
October 27th. The regular bombardment may be said to have begun 
on November 17th, from which date to January 5, 1864, 442 are reported. 
Out of the 472 shells thrown at the city, 28 are reported to have fallen 

xcviii APPENDIX. 

short, making about 444 which struck in the city ; but in my inspection 
and inquiry I couJd only learn of some 225 — viz. : 

Sh^ls striking hous'ns 145 

Shells strikiuK yard 5 19 

Shells strikiug iu the streets and on the edge of burned district ... til 

ToUl t& 

♦ *»♦*«♦ 

Average Number of Slwis per Day, — During the three shellings in 
August (21st to 24th), four days, about 7 per day. None in S^eptcDiber. 
In October only 3 shells were thrown, all in one day. From November 
17, 1863, to January 6, 1864, fifty days, about 9 shells per day. 

Proportion of iShelU which Burst — The records of this are very im- 
perfect, and the general opinion seems to be that only one-third of the 
shells thrown at the city have burst. The observer's records for Decem- 
ber are 316 shells thrown, of which 20 fell short. Of these, 123 are 
reported as not exploded, equal to about 39 per cent, of the number 
thrown, or 42 per cent of the number which struck the city. 

On January 2, 1864, 12 shells were thrown, of which one-half failed 
to explode. 

What Part of the City most Frequently Struck, — I have indicated this 
on the accompanying map by a dotted red-ink line. It is nearly bounded 
north by Market street from East Bay to Meeting, down Meeting to 
Horlbeck's alley, and along Horlbeck's alley to King street; west by 
King street from Horlbeck's alley to Tradd street; south byTradd street 
from corner of King to Church street ; down Church street to Longitude 
lane, and along that lane to East Bay, and east by E^t Bay street. 
Mr. T. S. Hale, the observer at St. Michael's, reports that **the 
enemy's principal line of fire upon the city has been St. Michael's 
Church steeple, radiating to the north-eastward as far as St. Philip's 
Church," and generally limited westwardly in its range to Archdale 
street. " Since January 1st the enemy appears to have made St. Philip's 
Church steeple his line of fire, hence the shells striking higher up in 
the city." On the map accompanying the wards are marked in separate 
colors, and the district burned in 1861 by a dark-brown tint. The shells 
first thrown at the city were 200-pounder Parrotts, but afterward the 
lOO-pounder Parrotts. 

People nre occasionally found living in the lower part of the city 
apparently indifferent to the danger of the enemy's fire. I think thtTc 
are a good many west of Meeting street. The Blakely-gun battery 
appears to be the only one in the line of fire. 

Respectfully submitted, Henry Bryan, 

Major and Assistant Inspector- General 

Lieutenant-Colonel A. Roman, 

Assiftt, Inf*p.-Gen. Depi, of S, C, Ga,^ and Flo, 

ReeapitidaHon of Eiiermfs SheUing of Charleston, 


November. 186S 
December, 1863 
January, 1864 . 
Februarj', 1864 . 
March. 1864 . . 

Grand total 



















Charleston, March 4, 1864. 

Alfred Rhett, 

Colonelj commanding. 

Battery Wagner, with Three Ouns, fights the Iron- Clad Squadron, 
carrying Tweniy-eight Guns, — A Memorable Day, 

Head-quarters Battery Wagner, ) 
August 17, 1863, 9 p. M. i 

Captain: I had the honor last night to forward report up to 1.30 
A. M. this morning, when slow firing was going on from our land-face, 
which continued up to 4.30 A. M. 

The enemy responded with a vigorous mortar-fire, ceasing about the 
same time as ours. 

At 6 A. M. they opened a severe fire of Parrott guns from their works 
on Morris Island to our right, ceasing just before 6. There were no 
casoalties reported from this fire, and no material damage done. 

Just after 6 A. M. a monitor, and then the Ironsides, were seen draw- 
ing up, and, according .to the views of the commanding general, were 
allowed to come in close. An action with these and other monitors 
commenced about half-past 6, Lieutenant J. Julius Alston's detachment 
manning the two columbiads, and a squad of Company B, Lucas's bat- 
talion, manning the rifled 32-pounder, directed mostly by Captain 
Robert Pringle and sometimes by Lieutenant E. B. Calhoun. Lieu- 
tenant Alston acted as gunner for right columbiad, directing his fire on 
left and nearest monitor, distant about 600 yards. . Sergeant D. H. 
Welch, Company E, First Artillery, directed the fire of left columbiad 
against the Ironsides, distant about 700 to 800 yards. 

It was impracticable to train the right columbiad on the Ironsides. 

Captain Pringle, Company B, Lucas's battalion, directed the fire of 
the rifle-gun against the left and nearest monitor, she being about 200 
yards nearer than the Ironsides, for about an hour, and then against 
another monitor, which came in still nearer on the right, for about 
another hour, when I directed the men to leave their guns. These 
monitors threw canister and shrapnel frequently, causing great annoy- 
ance to the cannoneers. 


Captain Pringlo fired over 40 bolt9 from bis gan, with little effect at 
first, but thinks he struck with one shot out of every three during the 
last two-thirds of his firing. During this firing Captain Wampler of 
the Engineers rendered gallant and effective service in repairing trav- 
orse circle to this gun. 

After Lieutenant Alston had fired about five shots from the right 
columbiady the monitor came in so close — within 500 yards — ^tbat he 
was unable to depress the gun sufficiently to strike the turret, though 
he fired some six shots over it in very good line. 

Toward the last of our firing (which lasted about two hours and ten 
minutes) the monitor, which had been receiving Lieutenant Alston's 
fire, drew off to the fleet apparently injured, and his fire was transferred 
to the next monitor to the right. 

Lieutenant Alston fought his gun all through our firing, only inter- 
rupted by temporary disabling of one of his eccentric wheels. Sergeant 
Welch handled his gun well, and is reported to have struck the Iron- 
sides several times. His detachment was relieved, being worn out, at 
about a quarter before 8 with detachment of Company E, Charleston 
battalion, under Captain F. T. Miles. They had been at their gun about 
ten minutes when a shell burst among them, wounding or stunning every 
man, and thus stripping the gun-chamber. Lieutenant Alston had no 
men for it, and, indeed, had been assisted by three or four men of 
Pringle's company. 

Captain Miles, being stunned and very weak, looked after his man- 
gled men in the hospital, and Lieutenant Palmer, Company E, Charles- 
ton battalion, who had been assisting Captain Chichester for an hour as 
adjutant, was soon after ordered to get a detachment and take chai^ 
of the gun, which he failed to do ; but finally a detachment was supplied 
under Lieutenant J. W. Axson, who received a slight contusion in the 
knee before the gun was loaded. They only fired it once, about 8.40 
A. M., when, with the advice of Captain Chichester, my chief of artil- 
lery, all the cannoneers on the sea-face were called off to the passages 
and bombproofe, ris their exposure was greater than any attainable result 
would justify. Six monitors came up, and certainly five of them were 
firing on this battery at once, coming as near as they pleased. Various 
Innd-batteries of the enemy, including their strong work in rear of the 
stockade, kept up a brisk fire, but I do not think many casualties resulted 
from it. 

Just before 9 A. M. my acting aide. Lieutenant John D. Hopkins, Com- 
pany G, First Georgia, carried an order to Captain Davenport, com- 
manding First Georgia in the sandhills, to detail three gun-detachments 
from his command, and led them up, one man being killed by shrapnel 
in execution of this order. They reported, under Lieutenant H. A. 
Elkins, before 10 A. M., too Intc to take part in morning fight, and wero 
put in charge of left colurobiad. 


At 9.20 parapet in front of left columbiad was badly damaged, and 
Captain Warn pier soon after took measures to strengthen it. 

Captain Warn pier and Major Bryan examined magazines and reported 
them safe. Five monitors deployed in line. 

At 9.45 the firing slackened a short time, the monitors drawing off 
toward the south, the Ironsides stationary. At 10.15 two monitors 
moved to left of this battery, and soon a very heavy fire opened. 

Just before 11 A. M., Captain J. M. Wampler, chief engineer, was 
killed, while writing at head-quarters, by a fragment of a shell cutting 
his spine. I greatly deplore the loss of this gallant man. 

At 11.05 A. M. an ammunition-chest was exploded by enemy's, shell at 
the field-guns, and some 12-pounder shrapnel and shell destroyed ; at 
11.45 six monitors deployed, two to the left and four to front and extreme 

At 12.15 all the monitors, excepting one, moving to the south, but 
one drew near and fired occasionally, and about half-past 12 all firing 
ceased ; the monitors and Ironsides hauled off from a mile to one and 
three-quarters. The men were turned out of the bombproof to cat and 
get fresh air. At a little after 1 p. M. the enemy opened a mortar-fire 
(not good), which ceased at 2.30 P. M. 

At 3.45 one monitor approached battery and opened fire, soon joined 
by another about 4 P. M. ; returned by our two columbiads and one rifled 
gun. Unfortunately, the rifled gun was spiked in attempting to load it, 
from the priming wire having been carelessly left in the vent and broken 
off flush in trying to draw it out. At 4.10 a large hole was torn in par- 
apet in front of the north columbiad, but Lieutenant Alston continued 
fightifig it with an infantry detail, shovelling away the sand ; finally, the 
Yates traversing gear got out of order. 

At 4.40 a XV-inch shell burst under the chassis of left columbiad, 
tearing the chassis badly, injuring the Yates traversing gear, and tear- 
ing the platform slightly. 

Fortunately, only one of the men of the detachment was injured, and 
be slightly. They were from First Georgia, Lieutenant Elkins in charge, 
and behaved gallantly. 

4.45 p. M. — Our fire ceased about this time, but the enemy's fire from 
two monitors, at close range, continued till nearly six o'clock, since which 
time all has been quiet. 

August 18th, 3 A. M. — All quiet, garrison very much exhausted, repair- 
ing damages. 

Captain Gregoric has reported as engineer. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Lawbexce M. Keitt, 

Ooloncl, commanding. 

Captain W. F. Nance, 

Ametant Adjutant- Ocneral, 



Proceedings of a Council of Officers held at Fort Sumter Augugt 24iL 

Fort Sumter, August 25, 1863. 
Colon EFi : I send you two copies of our proceediugs of yesterday 
afternoon, one for Colonel Gilmer and yourself; the other please have 
signed and returned. 

From examination, we find the 11-inch gun is severely if not seri- 
ously cracked at the junction of the right trunnion with its rim base. 
Very respectfully, 

F. H. Uarleston, 
Captain First South Carolina Artillery. 
Colonel Harris, 

Corps of Engineers^ Charleston. 


Proceedings of a council of officers convened at Fbri Sumter, Charleston 
harbor, in compliance with the following letter: 

Hd-qrs. Dept. South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, ) 
Charleston, S. C, August 24, 1863-10.30 a. m. I 

Colonel Harris; 

Colonel ; General Beauregard directs that you proceed immediately 
to Fort Sumter (together with Colonel Gilmer, if agreeable to him), to 
confer with Colonel Rhett, his chief of artillery, and Lieutenant John- 
son, Engineers, to report upon the defenses of th*e place or the advisa- 
bility of abandoning the work. In the attempt to reach the fort the 
general desires that a proper regard should be had to your own safety. 
You must not undertake the trip if too dangerous. 
Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

A. N. TouTANT Beauregard, 


In. compliance with the above letter, a council of officers, consisting 
of Colonel Gilmer, C. S. Corps of Engineers; Colonel Rhett, First South 
Carolina Artillery; Colonel Harris, C. S. Corps of Engineers; Major 
Blanding, First South Carolina Artillery; .Captain F. H. Harles- 
ton, First South Carolina Artillery; and Lieutenant Johnson, Corps 
of Engineers, met at Fort Sumter on the afternoon of August 24, 

Captain Harleston acted as recorder. The first proposition proposed 
for consideration was, " The present offensive condition of the fort." 

Lieutenant Johnson, Engineer Corps ; The present offensive condi- 
tion of the fort is very limited ; one very fine gun (11-inch) capable of 


being fired with advantage; two othera (10-inch) at disadvantage, in 
consequence of shattered condition of parapet. 

Captain Harleston of same opinion as Lieutenant Johnson. 

Major Blandino : The offensive condition of the fort is very nearly 
destroyed ; only one gun (11-inch) that can be used with any advantage. 

Colonel Harris indorses Lieutenant Johnson's opinion. 

Colonel Rhett : In action it would be impracticable to use but one 
gun, the 11-inch, and that would soon be disabled. 

Colonel Gilmer of the same opinion as Lieutenant Johnson. 

Second proposition : Can offensive power still be given to these guns 
by additional cover and change of location ? 

Lieutenant Johnson : Yes ; by sandbag ^paulement and timber plat- 
forms in rear of and between present platforms. 

Captain Harleston : Consider it impracticable on account of pres- 
ent shattered condition of the fort, and that sufficient time will not be 

Major Blanding ; Agree with Captain Harleston. 

Colonel Harris : It can be done in present condition of fort, if time 
is allowed. 

Colonel Rhett : Would like to see it carried out, but consider it im- 

Colonel Gilmer : It is entirely within the capacity of the engineer to 
accomplish the work in the manner suggested by Lieutenant Johnson, if 
not under fire, at night when the fire ceases. 

Third proposition : Capacity of the fort as a defensive position, in its 
present condition, against a barge attack, and the number of men needed. 

Lieutenant Johnson: I think the capacity of the fort sufficient, and 
that it needs 300 muskets. 

Captain Harleston : I think the capacity of the fort sufficient, and 
that it needs from 250 to 300 muskets. 

Major Blanding : Without outside assistance, in its present condi- 
tion, 500 muskets will be needed. 

Colonel Harris: Agree with Lieutenant Johnson. 

Colonel Rhett: The navy will not be able to assist in an attack from 
barges; the fort can be held in its present condition with no less force 
than 400 effective men, and a large part of those should be kept under 
arms during the night, as barges can come within fifty yards without 
being seesn. 

Colonel Gilmer: The defensive capacity of the fort is sufficient if 
garrisoned with 300 effective men, giving them the assistance of splinter- 
proof cover and sandbag 6paulenients. 

Fourth proposition : Power of the fort to preserve its present defensive 
condition against probable attack. 

Lieutenant Johnson : Against the possible combined attacks of the 
fleet, Parrott guns, and mortars, thirty-six hours. 


Captain Hakleston : Agree with Lieutenant Johnson. 
Major Blanding : Against a combined vigorous attack, twelve houn. 
Colonel Harris : Cannot undertake to answer as regards time. 
Colonel Rhett : The eastern wall is much shattered by the fire of the 
7th of April, and has never been repaired, excepting two casemates, 
which have been rebuilt with new masonry; the wall has been rein- 
forced in the casemates with sandbags ; it has also been seriously dam- 
aged by fire from the land-batteries on Morris Island. My opinion is 
that a fire from the iron-clad fleet for from two to three hours would 
destroy the integrity of the wall, if it did not bring it down. A com- 
bined fire from land-batteries on Morris Island, with a monitor attack, 
would most probably bring down a large part of the wall. The iimer 
corner wall of eastern magazine is now cracked. The fort wall adjoin- 
ing the pier of the upper magazine lias been completely shot away, and 
I think a concentrated fire of two hours on the junction of the upper 
and lower magazines would render the magazine unsafe. The north 
wall of the upper western magazine is unprotected, and is exposed to a 
reverse fire from the fleet firing one or two points north of perpendicu- 
lar to cast face of fort. A few shots upon this wall, striking about the 
junction of upper and lower magazine, would render the magazine 
unsafe. This place is now being reinforced with eight feet of sand. 
The roof of the hospital is now only protected by brick arches that 
would be crushed through by a few shells. 

Colonel Gilmer : From the examination I have been able to make 
as to the effect of the bombardment up to this time, I think the fort will 
remain tenable against any probable attack for many days if the Engi- 
neer officers be supplied with the labor and material necessary to rein- 
force points comparatively weak. 

Alfred Rhett, 

Cofoncly commanding. 
Ormsby Blandixg, 
Major First South Carolina Artillery, 
F. H. Harleston, 
Captain First South Carolina Artillery. 
John JoHNsbN, 
First Lieutenant Engineer Corps, Provisional Army C. S. 

The foregoing ia a correct report of what occurred at the consultation 
of the officers named, but we do not consider it as embodying our opinion 
in full as to " the advisability of abandoning the work," as called for by 
the commanding general in a letter, a copy of which is embraced in tlic 
foregoing proceedings. J. F. Gilmer, 

Colonel, and Chief of Engineer Bureau. 
D. B. Harris, 
Lieutenant- Colonel, and Chief Engineer of DeparfmenU 


R^ort of Colonel Jeremy F. Gilmer and Lieutenant- Colonel D. B, 
Harris^ C. S. Corps of Engineers, of Inspection Aug. 24, 1868, 

Office of the Chief Engineer, ) 
Charleston, S. C, August 25, 1863. i 
General : We have the honor to report that in compliance with your 
instructions we visited Fort Sumter yesterday afternoon, made a careful 
examination of its condition, and held a consultation with a portion of 
its officers, a copy of which we hand you inclosed. In addition to our 
answers to certain questions propounded at that consultation, we beg 
leave to state that, in our opinion, it is not advisable to abandon the 
fort at this time. On the contrary, we think it should be held to the 
last extremity. How long it may be held is now only a matter of con- 
jecture, but there are many elements of defense within the fort, in its 
present shatteretl condition, which if properly used may enable a resolute 
garrison to hold it for many days. The question of its abandonment, 
whenever it may arise, we respectfully suggest, should be determined by 
the commanding general, and not left to the discretion of the commander 
of the fort. 

We have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, yours, 

J. F. Gilmer, 
Colonel f and Chief of Engineer Bureau, 
D. B. Harris, 
Lieutenant' Colonel, and Chief Engineer of Department. 
General G. T. Beauregard, 

Commanding, etc. 


Head-quarters Dept. S. C, Ga., and Fla., ) 
Charleston, S. C, August 26, isn.*^. . I 
Tlie opinion of Colonel Gilmer and Lieutenant-Colonel Harris of the 
Engineers is approved. Fort Sumter must be held to the last extremity 
— ?.e. not surrendered until it becomes impossible to hold it longer with- 
out an unnecessary sacrifice of human life. Evacuation of the fort must 
not be contemplated one instant without positive orders from these head- 
quarters. G. T. Beauregard, 

Oeneraly commanding. 

Extracts from Major T. B. Brooks* fi Journal of the Siege of Wagiier 
( Gillmore's Report) . 

J'df/ £fj^ 1863. — ....'• The enemy opened on our advanced works 
on the right this morning, with columbiads and a Brooke rifle, from 
^^attvas afterward known as Battery Sim kins on Shell Point,, distant 


from the second parallel abont 3300 yards. This is the first fire we have 
received from James Island, and was particularly heavy to-day. (It 
afterward, with the fire of Sumter and Battery Gregg, continued day 
and night.) Our batteries reply by firing at Wagner, which does n(»t 
respond. This James Island battery will be most annoying, becjiuse 
our works are not, and could not easily be, defiladed against it, either 
in profile or trace, on account of the form and scarcity of ground on 
which we have to operate." 

Augmt 9th. — " The detail for to-night's work is 124 volunteer engi- 
neers, under Lieutenants Farrand and Talcott, and i>0 infantry, under 
Captain Walker. The engineers were in advance. Two hundred aud 
sixty yards of trench were opened, and a splinter-proof pampet, from 
six and a half to eight feet high, built throughout its length. No 
portion was revetted. Our grand-guard outposts were but thirty yards 
in front of the working-party, and the enemy's pickets, who could be 
seen, were apparently not over thirty yards farther. The engineers, on 
their knees, shovelled almost noiselessly. I could scarcely hear, or see 
them from the line of outposts thirty yards distant. The following 
method of setting the engineers at work was adopted : They carried no 
arms. Each man held a short-handled shovel in his right hand ; in the 
left, at intervals of six feet, each grasped a marked rope. The engineer 
officer who located the line took the lead. The men marched forward 
stooping. At a signal the rope was dropped, and each man went to 
digging a pit where he stood, throwing the earth over the rope ; these 

pits were connected and good cover was soon obtained At about 

two o'clock on the morning of the 11th, when the last-mentioned work 
(a battery near the centre of the parallel) was about one-half completed, 
Wagner opened a heavy fire of grape, canister, and shell, which, with 
the fire of the James Island batteries and Sumter, stopped our working- 
parties entirely for the first time in the siege." 

.... "Dr. Grant undertook to-night (August 10th) to light upCum- 
ming's Point with two calcium lights placed in the left batteries, distant 
3000 yards. The object was to reveal to our gunners any of the enemy's 
succor-boat« that may be attempting to communicate with his forces on 
Morris Island, and interrupt the operations with our fire. On the night 
of Autrust 4th, Captain Payne, the scout, and party were captured while 
repeating their endeavors to discover these relief-boats. Neither plan 
fully succeeded." 

AufjiiAf 23(i — .... "At daylight the enemy opened on this new 
work with artillery from Wagner, and completely destroyed it, knock- 
ing the gabions to pieces and caving the parapet back into the trench 
for twelve yards in length. This part of the work had to be abandoned. 
.... A small * redan ' was built in front of the left of the fourth parallel 
by the flying sap, the enemy's pickets being within twenty-five yards. 
This .... gave cover in reverse against the fire of James Island, which 


is producing more casualties among our troops than at any previous 
time, averaging in the special guard of the advanced trenches ten per 
day. On one day one of these regiments, the Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania 
volunteers, numbering three hundred, lost twenty men." .... 

August 24lh, — .... "This afternoon a mortar was opened on our 
fourth parallel from Wagner. Three sappers were wounded by it. This 
mortar proved to be a great annoyance. Its fire was directed on the 
head of the sap, was very accurate, and our sappers had no shelter from 
it. Six such mortars, well served, would, I think, have stopped our 
work at this period until subdued by our superior fire." .... 

Auguit 25th, — .... "The fire from James Island batteries has been 
very accurate, and much felt in the fourth parallel to-day. Several 
casualties took place among the engineers and infantry. I witnessed 
three successive shots take effect among our troops. This is surprising, 
as the enemy is using smoothbore guns at ranges of from 3000 to 4000 
yards." .... 

August i?5/A.— (The capture of the "Ridge" at 6.30 P. M. advanced 
the attacf to its fifth parallel.) "The first torpedoes were now found. 
One exploded, throwing a corporal of the Third United States Colored 
Troops, of the fatigue detail, twenty-five yards, and depositing him 
entirely naked, with his arm resting on the plunger of another torpedo. 
.... The discovery of these torpedoes explains what has been to me 
one of the greatest mysteries in the defense of Wagner — i. e. the fact 
that no material obstacle of any amount could be discovered in front 
of the work, not even after our two almost successful assaults. Torpedoes 
were the substitute." .... 
August S7th, — . . . . " Eight torpedoes were discovered inside of our 

advanced line to-day They were easily rendered harmless by 

boring a small auger-hole through the wood of which they are con- 
structed, and pouring in a suflScient quantity of water to destroy tl\e 
explosive power of the powder. This was afterward practised." 

Auguft 29th. — . ..." I ordered the sharpshooters to-day to endeavor 
to explode the torpedoes in advance of our works by firing at their 
plungers. Hitting the plungers did not explode them." 

August Slst. — .... "This night three casualties occurred in the 
guard of the advanced trenches from the explosion of a torpedo, over 
the plunger of which one of the men crept in taking his position." .... 
Srpfemt>er 3d. — . . . . " Destructive torpedoes, having a delicate ox- 
plosive apparatus, are planted thickly in our path The One Hun- 
dredth New York volunteers, Colonel Dandy commanding, Eighty-fifth 
Pennsylvania volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Piirviance recently com- 
manding, and Third New Hampshire volunteers. Captain Randlett com- 
manding, comprising the three regiments of volunteer infantry detailed 
on the 19th ult. as tlie guard of the advanced trenches, were to day re- 
lieved from this responsible and hazardous duty. Their aggregate 

cviii APPENDIX. 

number of casualties in this brief period is 105, or 10 per cent of the 
whole force. Four-fifths of these were caused by the enemy *8 artillery 
fire." .... 

September Gth. — .,..** The firing .of the Ironsides is excellent. A 
United States flag is kept constantly at the head of the sap, that she 
may direct her fire so as not to endanger us. Her shells strike the sea- 
face of the work just in advance of the flag, ricochet over the parapet, 
fall, explode very regularly, and search every part of tlie work that can 

possibly be reached by a mortar-fire One sapper of the engineers 

and three infantry wounded by the explosion of a torpedo." 

[The fort evacuated night of Gth-7th of September.] 

Sepfember 7tli, — "The following injuries, inflicted on Fort Wagner by 
the artillery fire of the past two days, were observed this morning: Of 
the sixteen pieces of ordnance which constituted the armament of the 
fort when it was taken, and in which there had probably been no change 
during the bombardment, only three were wholly disabled and unser- 
viceable. This after forty hours' bombardment at short range by an 
army and navy supplied with the best heavy guns in our servic^ manned 
by experienced artillerists, and during which the army alone threw over 
3000 projectiles at the work I Only part of these were directed at the 
guns of the work. 

"The most serious injury to the material of Fort Wagner was inflicted 
on the most southerly of the sea-face traverses, in which was situated a 
bombproof shelter. A timber forming the south upper corner of the 
sheathing of this bombproof shelter was struck by a shot from the land- 
batteries and considerably splintered. To reach this timber at least ten 

feet of snnd had been penetrated or removed by successive shots 

Considerable earth which covered the south end of the main bombproof 
shelter and the magazine just east of it was removed by our fire. About 
seven feet were left, however, which was enough to make both structures 
secure against a much longer-continued fire." 


General Orders ) HEAD-QUARTERS, FoRT Sumter, ) 

No.h ) Septembers, 1863. ) 

I. In pursuance of Special Orders No. 298, par. III., I assume com- 
mand of this post. 

II. The garrison, consisting of the Charleston battalion, will be under 
the command of Major Blake. 

III. A. dark every evening a detachment of fifty men, under the 
command of a captain, w^ill be stationed on the crest of the gorge-wall, 
in readiness to repulse a landing at that point. 


The men will not be allowed to take off their accoutrements, and will 
have their guns loaded, with fixed bayonets, and ready for immediate 
action ; an ofBcer of this detachment will be constantly awake. 

IV. A detachment of twenty men, under the command of a lieuten- 
ant, will occupy the broken embrasures on the north face ; a non-com- 
missioned officer will keep constantly awake ; in other respects the same 
precautions will be observed as have been ordered for the south face. 

V. In case of an attack in barges, which will be announced by beat- 
ing the long roll, the rest of the command will form on the parade in 
rear of the gorge- wall, whence positions will be assigned to any weak 

VI. Company commanders will inspect their commands every even- 
ing at retreat, and will be. careful in seeing that every rifle is in perfect 
order and that each man is provided with his complement of ammu- 

VII. It is positively forbidden to throw slops, dirt, or offal of any kind 
in any part. of the fort, and commanding officers of companies will see 
that no improper uses whatever are made of the parade-ground. 

The attention of the provost sergeant is also called to the fact that 
this is under his special supervision. 

Each company will have a slop-barrel, in which all the offal of the 
company will be thrown. These barrels will be daily emptied by the 
police squads of the several companies. 

VIII. Company officers will sleep near their respective companies, see 
that they are kept together, and that their arms and accoutrements are 
kept in such a way that they can be assumed at a moment's notice. 

By order. Stephen Elliott, Jr., 

Major, commanding, 
(Signed) W. Mason Smith, 


Lieutenant' Colonel D. B, Harris, Chief Engineer ^ recommends the 
Evacuation of Morris Idand Batteries, 

Office of Chief Engineer, | 
Charleston, S. C, Sept. 6, 1863. J 
Brigadier-General Thomas Jordan, 

Chief of Staff: 
General : I have the honor to report that I visited our works on 
Morris Island to-day, and in consideration of their condition, of our 
inability to repair damages at Battery Wagner as heretofore, of the 
dispirited state of its garrison, and of the progress of the enemy's 
*ap, I am reluctantly constrained to recommend an immediate evac- 
uation of both Batteries Wagner and Gregg. 
The thirty-six hours* severe bombardment to which these batteries have 


been subjected, eonfiDiDg the troops to the shelter of the bombproof, has 
resulted in so dispiriting the garrison at Wagner as to render it unsafe, 
in the opinion of its chief officers, to rely upon it to repel an assault 
should the enemy attempt one. The head of the enemy's sap is within 
forty yards of the salient of the battery, and he is making rapid prog- 
ress in pushing it forward, unmolested by the fire of a single gun, and 
with scarcely any annoyance from our sharpshooters. 

In consequence of the accuracy of fire of his land-batteries, which arc 
now in close proximity to Battery Wagner — say from 600 to 800 yards- 
aided by reverse fire from his fleet, it is impossible, in the opinion of 
the officers of the fort, to keep up a fire either of artillery or small- 
arms; and the enemy is thus left free to work on his trenches, which 
he is pushing rapidly forward, the head of his sap being, as above stated, 
within forty yards of the salient of the work, which is so seriously dam- 
aged by a battery of Parroft guns, kept constantly playing upon it, as to 
render it untenable. This difficulty could, however, be overcome by the 
erection of a parapet across the gorge of the salient, and the conversion 
of the bombproof covering into another parapet overlooking the salient, 
if it were practicable to work, as heretofore, at night. The covering to 
the bombproof and magazine also needs repair. We have been thus fiir 
able not only to repair damage at night, but to add from day to day to 
the strength of the battery ; but now that the enemy's sap is in such close 
proximity to the battery, and he has contrived to throw light upon the 
parapets at night, it is impossible to do so without a heavy loss of men. 
In the effort last night to repair damages the commanding officer of the 
fort reports a loss, in killed and wounded, of sixty to eighty men of the 
working-party alone. Without our ability to repair damages at night 
the battery will become, under the incessant fire of the enemy's land- 
batteries and fleet, untenable, say, in two days. 

It is in» view of these facts that I have thought it my duty to make the 
recommendation at the commencement of this report. 
I have the honor to be, general. 

Yours, very respectfully, 

D. B. Harris, 
Lieutenant' Colonel and Cliief Engineer, 

Journal of Personal ServicCy as Chief of Artillery, at Baiiery Wag- 
ner, September Sd to 7th, inclusive, written soon after the Evacuation 
of Morris Island, by Captain T, A. Huguenin, First South C-aro- 
Una {regular) Infantry, and kindly furnished for Publication in 
this Work, not having before been Printed. 

While in command of Battery Beauregard, Sullivan's Island, with 
my company of sixty-five men, I received an order, about dinner-time 


OD Thursday, the 3d of September, assigning me to duty on Morris Isl- 
and. Transferred that night by steamer to Fort Johnson, and thence 
by small boats to Cumming's Point, we relieved Captain Pres8 Smith's 
company about midnight from duty at Battery Gregg. By order of 
Colonel L. M. Keitt, comlnanding our troops on Morris Island, a de- 
tachment of my company (thirty men), under Lieutenant E. A. Erwin, 
was sent on to Battery Wagner ; the remainder were kept at work mount- 
ing a IX-inch Dahlgren gun until daylight Friday morning, the enemy 
{permitting no such work when they could see it. After a breakfast on 
rice and bacon, cooked, but served up on sabots and eaten with sticks, I 
had just lain down for rest when an order came from Colonel Keitt for 
me to repair immediately to Battery Wagner, where Major F. F. Warley 
(Second South Carolina Artillery), chief of artillery, had been severely 
wonnded, and I was wanted to fill bis place. Mounting a horse and 
riding rapidly through the showering shell, I reached the work in ten 
minutes, reported to Colonel K., and was put in charge of all the artil- 
lery. For the next two hours I was busily engaged inspecting the arma- 
ment of the post. The enemy were digging away rapidly in their 
approaches, now within about 150 yards of our ditch. I found the 
guns very much injured from long service and exposure; the carriages 
and chassis weakened by being struck and splintered. The prospect 
wa.s not cheering; the soldiers, worn and exhausted, could find no com- 
fort in the bombproof on account of the hot, close air, and were lying 
at the guns close to the parapet, but exposed to the broiling sun and 
the flying fragments of shell. I thought it my duty to take a look at 
the enemy's sap, but hardly had my cap appeared above the crest when 
a sharpshooter's bullet whistled close to me and changed my mind. A 
good view, however, was obtained by peeping more discreetly through 
the loophole of one of our own sharpshooters ; and I at once came to 
the conclusion that our guns should be opened. Accordingly, at 3.30 
p. M., with consent of the colonel commanding, we commenced firing,* 
and in about one hour the enemy were compelled to suspend work on 
their advanced trench, oo that, in the scarcity of ammunition, our fire 
was suspended also. The enemy toward evening did some beautiful 
firing at one of my guns which had particularly annoyed them. Their 
practice was so accurate as to compel me to close the embrasure to pre- 
vent them from destroying the gun and carriage. Just before sunset 
firing on the part of the enemy ceased, and by the light of a magnif- 
icent September sunset I took a careful view of the whole fort. The 
parade was strewn with parts of broken guns, carriages, and chassis, lum- 
ber arid splinters, and last, but not least, thousands of fragments of shell 
and shot of every description which had been thrown into the fort. One 
8-inch howitzer was broken in half and thrown thirty feet from its orig- 
inal position. The men lay in groups close under the parapet, eating 
raw bacon and biscuit, tired, dirty, and sleepy, for there was no rest for 


them day or night. While the last rays of the sun began to disap- 
pear behind the woods on James Island the infantry were marched out 
from the bombproof, and took their places along the parapet to guard 
against assault. The enemy having recommenced work, I again began 
firing This was returned from their mortars (coehorn), which were 
so near that when they were fired so little powder was used the report 
sounded no louder than the falling of a heavy piece of timber on the 

About 10 p. M., the commander agreeing, I moved out of the fort cau- 
tiously by the western sally-port, accompanied by Major H. Bryan, A. 
A.-G., for the purpose of selecting a position for a forward flank-work 
to mount one gun and enfilade the enemy's approaches, checking them 
as we could no longer do from our front. To avoid the sharpshooters, 
firing by their calcium-light as well as in the day-time, we w^ere obliged 
to crawl along on hands and knees until about twenty-five yards beyond 
the ditch ; then, concealing ourselves in the edge of the marsh, we crept 
forward a little farther to the point I had observed during the day. 
Finding the position to be what I desired, and that my plan would be 
feasible, I returned, and, obtaining Colonel Keitt's indorsement, sent a 
request to Brigadier -General Ripley for means and authority to do the 
work. But as the despatch could not reach him before next day (the 
last of the fort's defense), nothing came of my plan. Between 3 and 
5 o'clock I tried to get some sleep, but the heat and odor of the bomb- 
proof, together with the difficulty of coiling up on an ammunition-chest 
of half my length, defeated all my efforts. 

Early 8aturday morning, the 5th of September, the fire of the enemy 
was increased with their heaviest weight of metal ; rifle-guns of 100 and 
200 pounds from their lines were added to their mortars, while the New 
Ironsides and some monitors steamed up and engaged the fort at close 
quarters. The bombardment had now actually commenced ; all the firing 
on previous occasions from the land and naval batteries was as nothing 
to this. No place was safe from the flying fragments of bursting shell? 
but the magazines and bombproof quarters. Passages, corners, and 
entrances which had always been considered safe were now like slaugh- 
ter-pens About noon a traverse which had been protecting the 

entrance to one of the magazines and the hospital was cut away, and 
the passage obstructed by large quantities of sand thrown in and filling 
it up. It was necessary to have the passage cleared, and a detail of men 
was accordingly sent to shovel it away. Hardly had the attempt been 
made before all except one were brought in dead or wounded. Again 
and again it was attempted, until finally a space was cleared sufficient 
to admit light and air t^ the hospital. While this was going on I could 
hear the frequent cry " Call the ambulance corps," and presently some 
poor fellow would be brought in horribly mangled from the dangerous 
spot. The artillerymen who were kept at the guns were continually 


either killed or wounded; in our detachment Lieutenant Miller, in 
charge, was the only individual uninjured. 

So it continued all day, and our only hope was that when night came 
fresh troops might relieve us, or that the fire would he slackened and 
some repairing of damages might be done ; for the earth-filling on one 
side of magazine No. 2 had been nearly all knocked off. But the fire 
increased toward night, and, instead of having reinforcements, we learned 
that the enemy intended making an attack with small boats upon Cum- 
ming's Point, and therefore no supplies or troops could be brought over. 
As soon as it was dark a portion of , the garrison of Wagner was sent to 
Gregg, and the rest of us made ready for an assault on Wagner. No 
sleep, constant care, and excitement had made me so exhausted I could 
scarcely walk, but round I went, rousing up one or encouraging another. 
Hour afler hour we waited that dreadful night, little regarding the shells 
exploding around us in our great anxiety for Gregg ; for we knew that 
if the battery fell our fate would be sealed. About one o'clock firing was 
heard in that direction, and soon came the news of a successful repulse 
for us. Colonel Keitt and I walked around the fort telling the men 
to cheer them up, and with marked success. We then looked every 
moment to be stormed ourselves. No work of repair could possibly be 
done. A fatigue-party performed the hazardous task of removing all 
powder from the endangered magazine into the safer one. No supplies 
of any kind had come over from the city ; the commissary stores had 
been destroyed the day before ; our garrison had only a little biscuit 
and raw bacon; our water had been exhausted and every one made 
thirsty by the diet of raw salt meat. In this extremity we had recourse 
to digging small holes in and around the fort, but only to find the water 
springing thence so impregnated with the decay of bodies newly buried 
all around as to sicken and disgust us. 

Sunday morning dawned with peace and brightness on the face of 
nature, but with heavier gloom for us. There were no signs of assault, 
bnt the bombardment became more furious. We withdrew the infantry 
and prepared for another day of exhausting trial. Soon after daylight 
the cry of " Fire !" startled me, and, hurrying out, I found that just in 
the gun-pit next our principal magazine the carriage of a 10-inch colum- 
biad, which had been struck the day before, was in flames. The gun 
was standing up almost perpendicular, the trunnion having been broken 
off; and I knew that as soon as the piece became heated it would be 
discharged and thrown violently backward, to the injury of our only 
remaining magazine. So, without water to put out the fire, what was 
to be done? Seizing a shovel, I called aloud to some men near by to 
assist me in throwing sand upon the fire. We checked it, and then, 
procuring a kettle of water, we poured its contents down the muzzle 
and destroyed the powder of the charge. This was a narrow escape, and, 
knowing the importance of it, I worked so hard that I nearly fainted. 


As I walked out of the passage an incident occurred which was heart- 
rending, and I can never forget it. A 100-pounder rifle-shell struck the 
parapet, behind which were two sharpshooters, brothers. It knocked 
away the sand, and hurled one poor fellow fully twenty yards into the 
parade. He was instantly killed, and while lying there doubled up, 
with his gun still grasped in his hand, he was seen by the other, who 
had been stunned by the shock received at the parapet and had now 
recovered. Too weak to go to his brother, and supposing him to be yet 
alive, the disabled soldier uttered piteous cries for some one to take bis 
brother up, but was himself soon lifted by friendly hands and borne to 

a place of safety I resumed my inspection, and then went to take 

a little rest for an hour or two. 

About the middle of the day Colonel D. B. Harris, chief engineer of 
General Beauregard's staff, arrived on a visit from head-quarters, having 
landed at Cumming's Point in a small boat and made his way at great 
risk to the front. He made a careful examination of the fort and the 
enemy's threatening approaches, and then returned to the city. We 
surmised, but did not immediately know, his opinion of the situation. 

The garrison was completely worn down : seldom if ever before had 
men been subjected to such a trial ; for, over and beyond the perpetual 
bursting of the shells, there were the heat, thirst, crowded, unwhole- 
some, poisonous atmosphere of the quarters to be contended with. Some 
of the men had been on duty eight days and nights at the post, and 
were so exhausted that I could hardly get them to man their guns. 

Just at dark an oflScer arrived with orders, and soon after I was called 
into consultation with the commander. The plan of evacuation and 
retreat was agreed upon, and I proposed the plan of operations for the 
rear-guard, to which I had been assigned the command at my own 
request. About 8 o'clock a regiment of Georgians, portions of two 
companies and one whole company of artillerists, lefl. This was the 

beginning of the end Everything went on well. At 11 o'clock 

word came from the point that more troops should be sent. The Twenty- 
fifth South Carolina volunteers at once left the battery, and with them 
Colonel Keitt and all others except the rear-guard, consisting of sixty- 
three men and a few officers Thirty minutes after, I sent off half 

of the rear-guard, some to Cumming's Point and a few halfway to man 
a gun which had been placed there to cover our retreat. All that were 
left in Wagner then were thirty-five men and seven officers. I now dis- 
tributed these men all along the whole length of the fort, and ordere<l 
them to keep up a continual firing with small-arms in order to make the 
enemy believe that the whole garrison was still in the battery. I then 
took out the slow-match, which had been previously fixed, and gave it 
to Lieutenant E. Mazyck, my ordnance officer, going round mj-self with 
Captain C. C. Pinckney to destroy the implements and spike the guns. 
The shelling was all this time very severe. I gave Captain Pinckney 


the hammer, and we began spiking from the extreme right. Just as 
the first gun was spiked a Union soldier was heard to exclaim in a loud 
voice, close in front of the fort. We stopped and listened anxiously, 
expecting the alarm would certainly be given and the fort immediately 
assaulted. But the cry had come from one of the enemy wounded by a 
sharpshooter of ours, Kelley by name. The spiking was then renewed, 
but to prevent discovery I had to make a cushion of a haversack partly 
filled with sand, hold it over the spike, and so deaden the sound of the 

Everything, thus far, was carried out most successfully ; and the men 
were all taken from the parapet and gathered at the sally-port, ready to 
leave as soon as word came that the boats were ready for us. But no word 
came. The delay was growing hazardous, and was trying to the strongest 
nerves. Not willing to send the men back to the parapet, I determined 
to go myself into the bombproof and hospital to see if anybody remained 
behind. As I walked through the darkness, lighted by a lantern, and 
felt the change from a crowded work, where a few hours before twelve 
hundred men had been closely packed, my search was interrupted by 
stumbling over two dead bodies, horribly mangled and lefl unburied in 
the haste of departure. A moment's pause in that dark solitude was 
the most impressive of my life — with the silent dead at my feet, the 
subdued roar of the bombardment beard from without, and the stillness 
within, broken only by the slow, distinct drip, dripping of the dampness 
overhead upon the plank floor beneath. 

Convinced that not a living man was left behind^ I returned to the 
sally-port in time to hear that the courier had just arrived. The men 
were ordered to leave, and there remained then only myself and four 
others. While I laid the safety-fuze to the magazine. Captain Pinckney 
tried in vain to burst the 10-inch columbiad and a 32-pounder, but 
owing to the vent-hole being filled with sand no friction-tube or priming 
would prove effectual. At length the time came for lighting the fuze. 
This I did with my lantern, watching it burn very well for fully twenty 
seconds, and having the officers with me to say they thought it fairly 
lighted. We then started on a double-quick for Battery Gregg, but had 
not gone halfway when I gave out, the shells still dropping around us, 
and was forced to walk slowly for some considerable distance. 

When we came within about 200 yards of Gregg we heard the report 
of small-arms ahead of us, and gave up all for lost; but, pickirg our 
way forward, we were met by Major Bryan. He urged us to hasten, as 
the enemy's small boats were firing into ours, and threatened to cut us 
off every instant. Rushing into the water above the knee. I reached 
the last boat as it was in the act of shoving off. Hardly had wc lefl 
Cumming's Point twenty yards when small-arms' were opened furiously 
upon us, the bullets whistling all around our boats. Lieutenant W. H. 
Odenheimer of the navy, commanding our boat, steered her out to sea. 


thus avoiding the enemy, or we would have been captured, as were three 
others of our boats. After a row of about ten minutes we were landed 
at Fort Sumter, and thence transferred to a steamer for the city, which 
we reached about 3 o'clock on the morning of the 7th of September. 

Oapfain Fint South Carolina Infantry, 
Sullivan's Islakd, ") 
Beaureoard Battery, > 
October 4, 1863. ) 

Department of the South, I 

Head-quarters in the Field, Sept. 7, 1863. / 
Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief ,* 

General : I have the honor to report that Fort Wagner and Battery 
Gregg are ours. Last night our sappers crowned the crest of the coun- 
terscarp of Fort Wagner on its sea-front, masking all its guns, and an 
order was issued to carry the place by assault at 9 o'clock this morning, 
that being the hour of low tide. 

About 10 o'clock last night the enemy commenced evacuating the 
island, and all but seventy-five of them made their escape from Cum- 
ming's Point in small boats. Captured despatches show that Fort Wag- 
ner was commanded by Colonel Keitt of South Carolina, and garrisoned 
by 1400 effective men, and Battery Gregg by between 100 and 200. 

Fort Wagner is a work of the most formidable kind. Its bombproof 
shelter, capable of holding 1800 men, remains intact after the most terri- 
ble bombardment to which any work was ever subjected. We have cap- 
tured nineteen pieces of artillery and a large supply of excellent ammu- 
nition. The city and harbor of Charleston are now completely covered 
by my guns. 

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient ser- 

Brigadier- General, commanding. 

B^ort of Colonel L, M. Keitt, — Evamvaiion of Morris Island, 

Charleston, S. C, ) 
Sept. 7, 1863. J 
Captain : I have the honor to make the following report of the eva«- 
uation of Morris Island, including Batteries Wagner and Gregg, by the 
troops under my command, on the night of the 6th instant. 

This step was authorized by a despatch sent by signals from district 
head-quarters, and received by me between 4 and 5 P. M., and directed 
in detail by a special order from department head-quarters, which was 

REPORTS, correspondence; despatches, etc. cxvii 

received from Captain W. G. McCabe, of General Ripley's staff, at dark, 
and was necessitated from the untenable condition of Battery Wagner, 
the greatly exhausted condition of the garrison, and constant artillery 
and sharpshooting fire of the enemy, which prevented repairs. The 
gradual approaches of the enemy had ;>assed the front of the battery, 
and the termination of their sap was not over fifty yards from the para- 
pet of the sea-face, enabling them to throw a mass of troops upon this 
flank when our men were mostly in the bombproofs, where I was forced 
to keep them by the unceasing fire of mortars and rifled guns on land, 
with an enfilading fire from the fleet during most of the day. The 
salient on the left of the battery had been swept by such a terrible 
cross-fire as to breach the parapet and throw it into irregular shapes, 
rendering the ascent from the moat easy; and, moreover, men could not 
be kept there during this cro^ss-fire without the certainty of most of them 
being wounded or stunned. This salient is the part of the work gained 
by the enemy in the assault of July 18th. 

As soon as the evacuation was authorized, I gave detailed instructions 
to the regimental commanders — viz. Lieutenant-Colonel John G. Press- 
ley, commanding Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers ; Major James 
Gardner, commanding Twenty -seventh Georgia volunteers ; Captain W. 
P. Crawford, commanding Twenty-eighth Georgia volunteers — for the 
gradual movement of their men to Cumming's Point, so as to keep up 
an effective front to the enemy and ensure silence and promptness. They 
expressed their hearty approval, believing an evacuation necessary to 
prevent a useless sacrifice of men. The men went down as if for special 
duty, and, though the most intelligent knew the fact, nearly all went off 
as if going to be relieved. 

Captain Huguenin, chief of artillery, was promptly notified of the 
steps to be taken, and made his arrangements, with my sanction, for 
the removal of the artillery, and the written orders when received were 
submitted to him for his guidance. He was intrusted with the delicate 
duty of bringing up the extreme rear and firing the only magazine which 
contained powder. Lieutenant E. Mazyck, ordnance oflScer, being ordered 
to assist him. His report, with Lieutenant Mazyck's, is enclosed, marked 
A, and is referred to aa an important portion of this report. 

At dark, I sent to Captain H. R. Lesesne, who was commanding Bat- 
tery Gregg, an order to prepare to blow up his magazine and render his 
guns unserviceable, directing him to confer with Captain F. D. Lee, of 
the Engineers, who had read the orders. I had no copy of the detailed 
^rder, which came late, to give him, which was thus not communicated 
to him. I refer you to his report, marked B, for particulars. 

To anticipate the possibility of a pursuit by the enemy while retreat- 
ing from Wagner, I ordered Lieutenant Robert M. Stiles, chief engineer 
at Battery Gregg, to construct a rifle-pit across the island at a narrow 
point about a quarter of a mile in advance of Battery Gregg. This was 

cxviii APPENDIX, 

accomplished by him aft^r dark, while under mortar-fire, with a force 
of seventy-seven negroes in his charge. Ue also cut away most of the 
earth-covering of the magazine on the side toward our James Island 
batteries, then sent his negroes off to Fort Johnson, using a large flat 
left at Cumming's Point for that purpose. 

Owing to the necessity of protecting the already reduced garri5>oD, I 
had, early on the morning of the Gth instant, made the following dis- 
position of my troops : The Twenty-seventh Georgia regiment, effective 
total 175 men, commanded by Major Gardner, a gallant and intelligent 
officer, were in the sand-hills, well protected in pits dug there, the hil- 
locks being natural traverses. Fiffcy men of the Twenty -eighth Georgia, 
under Captain M. Adams, who had picketed the beach during the night, 
were also there; the remainder of the regiment, numbering 130 effectives, 
were assigned to the extreme right of Battery Wagner ; about 45 kept 
out on the lines and the remainder in the bombproof. The Twenty-fifth 
South Carolina (Eutaw) regiment, which had been terribly reduced by 
casualties and sickness during the day and night preceding to an effect- 
ive total of about 365 men, manned the left and centre of the battery, 
keeping only a guard of each company on its respective position of the 
lines, the remainder in the bombproof. Two companies of this regi- 
ment were sent to the sandhills for protection and to make room in the 
bombproof, where several men had fainted on the 5th from excessive 
heat and foul air. Major Gardner was ordered to cover the retreat 
with the Twenty-seventh Georgia in case of pursuit by the enemy; in 
the mean time, to picket the beach at dark and hold his reserve in 
readiness to support Battery Wagner. 

At early dark, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Pressley, commanding 
Twenty-fifth South Carolina, a very intelligent and reliable officer, to 
detail four companies (about 100 men) to take a field-piece from the 
left curtain to Cumming's Point and embark on the first boats. Half 
an hour after. Captain Crawford, commanding Twenty-seventh Georgia 
volunteers, was ordered to move a howitzer from the right of Wagner 
to the rifle-pit near Gregg, place the piece in position there, collect his 
regiment, form line of battle in rifle-pits, and when notified that trans- 
portation was ready to send a company at a time to embark. Major 
Gardner was ordered to man the rifle-pits when Captain Crawford had 
left. Lieutenant-Colonel Pressley was ordered to extend his lines and 
cover the line manned by the Twenty-eighth Georgia as soon as that 
regiment started, which was promptly done by him. I will here remark 
that all this night, as on the previous night, the enemy threw a strong . 
calcium light on the front of Battery Wagner. 

About 9 P. M., being informed that transportation was ready, the em- 
barkation commenced, and went on briskly and quietly until all had 
been embarked except the rear-guard, which was commanded by Cap- 
tain T. A. Hugueuin, numbering 35 men — 25 men of the First South 


Carolina [regular] Infantry (Company A) and 10 men of the Twenty- 
fifth South Carolina volunteers, under command of Lieutenants F. B. 
Brown and R. M. Taft. 

At about 11 P M. I turned over the command of Battery Wagner to 
Captain Huguenin, and, ordering ray adjutant-general, Major H. Bryan 
(a member of General Beauregard's staff', who had volunteered for spe- ' 
cial duty on Morris Island), to accompany me, I proceeded toward 
Cumming*s Point. At the rifle-pits I received information that more 
transportation was ready, and I immediately ordered Major Gardner to 
embark his regiment and to take with him the 12-pounder howitzer ; 
which he did, but could not bring it off the island. 

The transportation, under the direction of Major M. A. Pringle, 
post-quartermaster in Charleston, was admirably managed. Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Dantzler, Twentieth South Carolina volunteers, having been 
specially detailed by General Ripley to superintend the transportation, 
under his spirited and excellent management it succeeded perfectly. 

When the infantry were all embarkcKl, I directed Captain J. T. Kana- 
paux, commanding light artillery, to spike his three howitzers and em- 
bark his command. Captain Lesesne was then ordered to spike the 
guns of Battery Gregg and embark his men. The rear-guard from 
Wagner, coming up at this time, were embarked. I had ordered Cap- 
tain Huguenin down, sending word by Private John A. Stewart, Gist 
Guards, the cavalry couriers having left without permission. There was 
no light kept at Gregg, so I could not well note the hour. With two or 
three boats I now anxiously waited for Captain Huguenin's party. 
Finally, perceiving that the enemy's barges from Vincent's Creek were 
attacking our boats with musketry, I ordered the safety-fuze to the 
magazine of Battery Gregg to be lighted; it was lit. The firing then 
ceased. As I desired the explosions at both batteries to be simultaneous 
as ordered, I ordered Captain Lesesne to extinguish the fuze, intend- 
ing to relight it or apply another fuze when Captains Huguenin and 
Pinckney and Lieutenant Mazyck, who were the only persons who had 
not yet come to the point, arrived. Major Holcombe, who had lighted 
the fuze, immediately attempted to extinguish it. He informed me from 
the parapet of the battery that it would be diflScult to cut it in twain, 
and that it was burning brightly. At that moment the absent party 
arrived, and I directed him not to interfere with the fuze, which was 
then burning brightly. 

About 1.30 A. M., with the rear-guard of my command, I embarked, 
thus successfully withdrawing from Morris Island, and my responsi- 
bility ended. As we started off* the Yankee barges directed their mus- 
ketry-fire upon us, causing the bullets to whiz around us, but doing no 

Bearing toward Fort Sumter, I proceeded to flag-steamer Charleston, 
and notified Captain J. R. Tucker that the evacuation of Morris Island 


was accomplished, and requested him to give the rocket signal to our 

I then proceeded to district head-quarters and repeated the informa- 
tion, arriving at 3 A. M. on the 7th. 

During the day and evening of the 6th, Captain J. R Adger, the 
efficient post-quartermaster, kept his only wagon moving the wounded 
from Wagner to Gregg, under the direction of Chief-Surgeon William 
C. Ravenel. Strange to say, none were hurt by the enemy's fire, which 
from time to time swept across the road. Of course the wounded were 
embarked first. 

Dr. Ravenel performed his arduous duties with alacrity and zeal, 
showing every kindness to the wounded and stunned, who poured in 
from sunrise on the 5th till the evening of the 6th. He left about 10.30, 
leading his ambulance corps. 

I am happy to state that the majority of the wounds were slight, 
though disabling the men for the time. 

The guns in the batteries were spiked and the implements generally 
destroyed; equipments mostly carried ofi*. The magazines were not 
blown up, owing to the faulty character of the safety-fuzes used for 
the purpose, which were ignited — that at Battery Wagner by Captain 
Huguenin, assisted by Captain Pinckney, district ordnance officer; and 
that of Battery Gregg by Major Holcombe, under Captain Lesesne's 
instructions and the supervision of Captain F. D. Lee and Lieutenant 
Stiles of the Engineers. 

The enemy were within thirty steps of the front of Battery Wagner ; 
the voices of their sappers could be distinctly heard. Any attempt to 
break off the trunnion or shatter the carriage of a gun would have been 
distinctly heard and our movements discovered. Besides, the gun- 
chambers had been filled with loose sand displaced by the enemy's 
shot, and the guns could not be managed. I attempted to move the 
sand, but my working-parties were broken up as soon as put to work. 
The enemy had planted heavy mortars within 100 yards of the battery, 
and they could and did throw their shells into any designated spot. 
They could hear the movements of a party at work along the line, and 
would kill, wound, or disperse the men. Property had to be destroyed 
within thirty steps of the enemy, and while they could hear the voices 
of our men in this close proximity to them, the whole garrison had to 
be removed. Their land-batteries and fleet swept every inch of ground 
between Batteries Wagner and Gregg, and any suspicion of our move- 
ments compromised, if it did not destroy, the safety of the garrison. 
All the guns were effectually spiked. 

At Battery Gregg everything was destroyed but the two 10-inch gun.s. 
They were prepared for bursting when the last party embarked. Before 
this party arrived the enemy's barges fired upon our? transporting our 
troops, and also turned their fire upon us. 


An attempt had been made by the enemy in barges the preceding 
night to assail and capture Battery Gregg. The number of their barges 
then in easy range could not be ascertained. 

I was informed by the engineer captain (Lee) that the explosion of 
the magazine would destroy the guns. The fuze was lighted, burned 
well, and no doubt was entertained of its igniting the magazine. 

The rear-guard from Battery Wagner had embarked under fire from 
the enemy's barges. These barges, I am convinced, gave the enemy the 
information of the withdrawal of our garrison. 

The guns of Battery Gregg were spiked. 

My chief exertion was to save my men, whose future services will, I 
trust, be worth much more to the Confederacy than what I failed to 
destroy to the enemy. Had instructions been sent to me earlier, more 
might have been done. 

Lieutenant Stiles, assistant engineer, stationed at Battery Gregg, at 
my request had come up to Battery Wagner in the morning. Upon 
examination, he expressed to me a doubt whether there was powder 
enough in the magazine to blow it up. I should state at this point that 
I had sent on Friday for an additional supply of powder, sending the 
requisition and my report a» to the state of the garrison and of the day's 
proceedings by Major Warley, chief of artillery, who was wounded, and 
returned to the city in a small boat sent for the purpose. This boat was 
captured by the enemy's barges, and my report either taken or destroyed 
by Major Warley. Of this capture I had no knowledge until Saturday 
night. The blowing up of the magazines was intrusted by me to brave 
and intelligent officers, who I think did their best to effect it. (See 
Huguenin's and Lesesne's reports, marked A and B.) The chief ord- 
nance officer of the district came to Morris Island apparently to look 
after this, and was given every facility he asked for. 

I did not attempt to destroy the bombproof at Wagner, because, after 
consulting with Captain Lee of the JBngincers, I deemed it impracticable 
from the small quantity of combustible material at my disposal, and 
because any smoke would at once inform the enemy and stimulate him 
to pursue us by land and water. It must be remembered that the sand 
above the bombproof was considerably saturated with water, which 
dripped through in several places. 

To Captain Huguenin, chief of artiller>'; Major Bryan, assistant 
adjutant-general ; Lieutenant-Colonel Pressley, commanding Twenty- 
fifth South Carolina volunteers; and Lieutenant-Colonel Dantzler, 
superintending embarkation, I am chiefly indebted for the success of 
the evacuation. 

My thanks are due Mr. J. F. Mathewes, Engineer corps, for the use 
of his boat and crew for moving troops and bringing me off at the last. 

Captain J. R. Haines and Lieutenants H. Montgomery, Jr.» and R. A. 
Blum of the Twenty-fiflh South Carolina volunteers, three valuable 


officers, were killed at their posts of daty during the last of the siege. 
Let their names be honored. 

1 desire to record the faithful services of Privates J. M. Leathe, J. A. 
Stewart, and John H. Bond of the Gist Guards, South Carolina volun- 
teers, who have remained voluntarily on duty at Battery Wagner almost 
the entire siege, always attentive and cool under fire. Stewart would 
make an excellent commissary and Leathe a practical and hard-working 
ordnance officer. 

Lieutenant R. M. Stiles, Engineer corps, creditably performed the 
duties assigned to him. Lieutenant Robert S. Millar, Company A, 
Second South Carolina Artillery, was distinguished for courage and 
for his cheerfulness, which was not diminished by a slight wound on 
the knee and by being stunned for half an hour. 

To Major Bryan of General Beauregard's staff, who volunteered as my 
adjutant-general, I am under the greatest obligations. Although at the 
time I was ordered to Morris Island to assume command of the forces 
there he had a furlough to visit his father in Georgia, who was very ill, 
he promptly waived it and volunteered to go with me. His tact, cool- 
ness, experience, courage, and untiring industry were of the greatest 
service to me during the night and the day. His vigilance extended to 
every department and perpetually sought out means of increasing our 
resources and supplying our deficiencies. 

In spite of severe indisposition for several days, I have made every 
exertion to meet the very unusual responsibilities imposed upon me. 

Taking all circumstances into consideration, I trust that this will not 
compare unfavorably on the part of the garrison with any other retreat 
made during this war. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Lawrence M. Keitt, 

Captain W. F. Nakce, Colonel, commanding. 

A. A.-G, Ut Mil. DisL, Dept S. G, C?a., and Fla. 

Hd-qrs. Dept. South Carolina, G?:orgia, and Florida, ) 
Charleston, S. C, September 19, 1863, i 

Had this evacuation been conducted in strict compliance with detailed 
orders, it would be one of the most memorable in history, and, after all, 
may be regarded as a signal success and highly creditable to the com- 
manding officer and all officers and men who participated in it. Sub- 
jected to a terrible fire, and beleaguered almost to the very ditch of the 
work by an enterprising, watchful adversary, yet the entire garrison was 
withdra:vn in safety. The coolness and discipline which characterized 
this operation, and through which an efficient command has been saved 
to the country for future use, are deemed worthy of notice and com- 
mendation by the War Department, especially when taken in connection 


with their stoat defense of Morris Island for four days preceding the 
evacuation, together with the limited and imperfect means of water 
transportation at command. 

One of the reasons assigned for not bursting the guns, blowing up the 
magazines and bombproofs in Batteries Wagner and Gregg — that is, an 
alleged want of time after the order to evacuate had reached Morris 
Island — calls, however, for remarks from these head-quarters. It had 
been a standing order for several weeks previous to the evacuation that 
in suck an event all guns, magazines, bombproofs, etc. should be 
thoroughly destroyed, and with that view time-fuzes had been tested, 
and, with rat-tail files, were provided for both works. Further, the 
written special instructions of Brigadier-General Ripley, prescribing 
measures and means for the complete destruction of these works and 
of their armaments at the proper time, and the detailed orders directing 
and regulating the evacuation of Morris Island, were received by the 
commanding officers at dark on the 6th instant (about G P. M.). The 
last detachment of his command did not quit the island until after 1 
A. M. on the 7th instant ; hence, there were seven hours for the com- 
pletion of all necessary arrangements. I am, therefore, unable to admit 
that there was any lack of time for the thorough execution of the work 
of destruction ordered. It is not explained why the tinic-fuzes failed to 
explode the powder left in the magazines. They were seen burning 
brightly when last observed, and it is therefore probable that either 
before or while the fire was being applied the ends in contact with the 
powder were accidentally detached. 

G. T. Beauregard, 

Generalj commanding. 

Report of Captain T. A. Hxiguenin, commanding Rear-guard in 
Evacuation of Morris Island, September 0, 1863. 

Charleston, S. C, | 
Sept. 7, 1863. i 

Major: I have the honor to make the following report of the duties 
assigned to me when evacuating Morris Island last night: 

As soon as orders were received for the evacuation, I was intrusted by 
Colonel Keitt to command the rear-guard, with the following instructions : 
To hold Battery Wagner, with a forlorn hope of 35 men, until he had 
embarked the remainder of the garrison at Cumming's. Point, when he 
would send me word to that effect, and I would then withdraw my men 
with as little delay and noise as possible, after destroying the guns and 
laying a slow-match to the magazine. The orders detailing the manner 
of evacuation and destruction of property did not arrive until some time 
after dark. Immediately upon the receipt of the orders I commenced 
preparations. Tlie inclosed paper, marked A, was presented to Colonel 
Keitt and approved. 

cxxiv APPENDIX. 

About 8 P. M. the 10-inch mortar Was fired, and firing kept up until a 
short time before the final evacuation. I then relieved Captain J. D. 
Johnson's, a portion of Captain W. M. Hunter's, and a portion uf Cap- 
tain J. T. Kanapaux's companies, who immediately commenced the 
retreat. I then visited the batteries that were not manned, and com- 
menced the destruction of such implements as my limited time would 

At 11 p. M. my support, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel J. G. 
Pressley, withdrew, together with the guard. I then posted my artil- 
lery, who were now firing at long intervals, as sharpshooters along the 
whole fort, with orders to keep up as continuous a fire of small-arms as 
is usual at Battery Wagner during the night, the enemy all this time 
keeping up a furious bombardment from mortars and rified guns. 

At 11.30 p. M. I ordered the relief of Lieutenant Millar's and Captain 
Kanapaux's detachments. The whole garrison of the fort then consisted 
of 25 men of Company A, First South Carolina Infantry (regulars), and 
10 men from the Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers. The firing of 
our sharpshooters was increased, in order to deceive the enemy as to 
our movements. 

At 12.30, or near about that time, I commenced relieving the rear-guard, 
commencing on the right, and, with Captain Pinckney, carefully spiking 
every gun except the 10-inch columbiad, which was double-charged and 
prepared for bursting. By the time this was done and the rear-guard 
was ready to move, a courier arrived from Cumming's Point with orders 
from Colonel Keitt to complete the evacuation, as the troops had all left 
and transportation for the rear-guard was ready. I immediately withdrew 
my sharpshooters from the parapet, and started the rear-guard to Cum- 
ming's Point. Captain Pinckney, ordnance officer. First Militar>' Dis- 
trict ; Lieutenant Mazyck, ordnance officer. Battery Wagner ; Lieuten- 
ant James A. Ross, Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers ; and Ord- 
nance Sergeant Leathe and myself, alone remained to lay the slow-match, 
which had been prepared in the early part of the night. In about five 
minutes the train was fixed, and the 10-inch columbiad was att^^mpted 
to be fired. Four friction-tubes failed, and powder was gotten from the 
magazines and the vent primed as well as possible. The implements 
having boen destroyed, according to instructions from district head- 
quarters, again it was attempted and failed. Preparations were then 
made to burst the 32-pounder, which bursting of a gun was the signal 
to Colonel Keitt that the evacuation was completed. But this failed 
also, after several attempts. The rear-guard had then been gone fifteen 
or twenty minutes, and the enemy having slackened their fire a little 
upon Wagner and commenced firing on Cumming's Point and between 
the two batteries, T thought that perhaps they had discovered our inten- 
tions ; and, knowing that Colonel Keitt and the remainder of the garri- 
son at Battery Gregg and the rear-guard would be waiting for me, I, in 


oi^er to preserve them from danger, abandoned the idea of bursting the 
10-inch coluuibiad, and immediately, with my own hands, applied the 
match to the safety-fuze. It ignited, and I remained and saw it burn- 
ing for fifteen or twenty seconds, apparently fairly and successfully 
ignited. Believing that I had done everything that could possibly be 
done, I commenced my retreat, arriving at Battery Gregg during the fire 
of the mortars and riHed guns on Morris Island and the firing of small- 
arms from the enemy's boats near that point. 

In justice to myself, I desire to state I had taken command of the 
artillery at Battery Wagner under a heavy bombardment, which con- 
tinned until after I left, and therefore my duties in the batteries were 
sach as to prevent my giving the proper attention to every matter of 
detail, as I would have done under other circumstances. 1 feared the 
slow-match would not answer, and I applied to Colonel Keitt to be per- 
mitted to set fire to the bombproof with three barrels of rosin, but he 
refused, upon the ground that the instructions stated distinctly that the 
fire was to be communicated by slow-match, upon the advice of the Engi- 
neer ofiicer that the smoke and fire would make known our intentions to 
the enemy. 

Id conclusion, I am happy to state that the rear-guard behaved with 
perfect coolness. They were marched from Battery Wagner in perfect 
order by the second officer of the guard. Lieutenant F. B. Brown, Twen- 
tv-fifth South Carolina volunteers. 

From the continued firing of the enemy, I am inclined to believe that 
the enemy did not discover that the evacuation had taken place until 
the Ust boatload had reached Fort Sumter. 

Inclosed you will find a copy of Lieutenant Mazyck's (ordnance ofii- 
cer) report, to whom I am much indebted for his valuable services. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Captain Fint S. (7. [regular] Inf. [3d Art.], Chief of Artillery, 
Major Hjsnry Bryan, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

Report of Captain C C Pinchiey, C. S. Artillery y Ordiiance Officer 
First Military Didrict. 

Head-quarters First Military Dist. of S. C, Ord. Dept., ) 
Charleston, S. C, September 8, 1863. ) 

General: In obedience to your instructions, I have the honor to 
submit the following statement of what passed binder my observation at 
Battery Wagner on the night of the evacuation of that post: 

On the evening of that day I took down some spikes, slow-match, 
safety-fuze, sledges, etc. to Morris Island. I went at once to Battery 

cxxvi APPENDIX. 

Wagner, taking the spikes in my hand. I had made requisition for 
rat*tail files in August last, but had received none. These were intended 
as substitutes. I found Captain Huguenin with the ordnance officer, 
Lieutenant Mazyck. arranging the safety-fuze previously sent, and gave 
them my assistance. The splicing was carehilly done, the ends of the 
fuze split and pinned. Captain Huguenin stated that he had tried sev- 
eral pieces of the fuze, but I repeated the experiment and found it 
burned perfectly well. When the main body of the garrison was with- 
drawn, I remained to assist in the final dispositions. The proper time 
having elnpse<l, Lieutenant Mazyck, assisted by Lieutenant James A. 
Ross, Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers, was left to lay the fuze, 
and I, accompanied by Captain Huguenin, to spike the guns. Here wc 
encountered great difficulty. The vents of most of the pieces were 
greatly enlarged. In many cases the spikes dropped loosely in, and we 
were obliged to use two and sometimes three of them. We could have 
remedied this in a measure had it been practicable to drive them tightly 
and hammer the edges of the orifice over them, but Captain Huguenin's 
order enforced the most perfect quiet, and the necessity was sufficiently 
obvious. We obviated the difficulty as well as it was possible by bun- 
dling up a haversack and hammering through that^ but it could not be 
thoroughly effective. Having thus spiked each piece in succession, 
excepting the 10-inch columbiad, Captain Huguenin arranged a lan- 
yard for firing this gun, the wheels being in gear, and we returned to 
the magazine. The cartridges (a large number) were piled up against 
one wall and the fuze inserted in one of them, going down to the bottom, 
and carefully trained out of the door and along the side of the covered 
way, to avoid the feet of any passers-by. We then waited the courier 
from Colonel Keitt, Lieutenant Ross and myself, by Captain Huguenin's 
orders, joining the lookouts in firing an occasional rifle from the 
parapet to keep up a show of occupation. The courier came. Lieu- 
tenant Ross then took the lanyard and Captain Huguenin ordered, 
" The last gun from Batteiy Wagner, fire I" But the primer failed. 
Another gave no better result. We then primed with powder from a 
Whitworth rifle cartridge, bat the piece could not be fired. Wc then 
pot out one of the two spikes from the 32-pounder, but the other pre- 
vented the passage of the flame. So much time was now consumed that 
Captain Huguenin thought best to abandon the attempt. He lit the 
fuze, all of us watching to see that it was burning correctly. Wc 
then abandoned Battery Wagner. Great was our disappointment as 
we looked in vain during our passage to the city for the expected 
explosion. Possibly a fragment of shell may have cut the fuze before 
it burned to the door. I can think of no other accident; no precaution 
was omitted. 

Though not officially present, I trust I may be allowed as a spectator 
io bear witness to the coolness, judgment, and fidelity of Captain 


Hugoenin and the officers under him in the discharge of the delicate 
task confided to them. 

I have the honor, general, to be, very respectfully, your obedient 
servant, C. C. Pinckney, 

Captain Artillery and Ordnance Officer First Mil, Dist, S. C 
Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley, 

Cbmmanding First Military District, South Carolina. 

Report of Captain H. R, Lesesne, First South Carolina Artillery. — 
Aiisault on Battery Gregg and Evacuation. 

Charleston, S. C, September 7, 1863. 

Major: I have the honor to report that in obedience to orders 
received from Colonel Keitt I went to Battery Gregg on the morning 
of the 5th instant and took command of the post. The battery was 
shelled heavily during the day by the enemy's land-batteries, and for a 
part of the day by the Ironsides, causing considerable injury to the 
work and a number of casualties : I am not able to state the exact 
number. Information having been received that the enemy intended 
an attack by water on the battery, I had the guns of the battery trained 
on the most probable points of attack, double-loaded with canister, one 
10-inch columbiad bearing on the beach in front and one on the extreme 
point in rear. Two 1 2-pound er howitzers were placed on the beach to 
the right of the work, running from the right of Battery Gregg to the 
beach. The artillery was supported by Major Gardner, commanding the 
Twenty-seventh Georgia. 

About 1.30 A. M. the enemy advanced upon the point in about twenty 
boat»; when within 100 yards of the beach I opened upon them with 
the 10-inch gun, followed by the howitzers. The infantry commenced 
firing shortly afterward. The enemy returned the fire with their boat- 
howitzers and musketry. A few succeeded in landing, but quickly 
returned to their boats. Afler the fire had been kept up for about 
fifteen minutes the whole force retired. 

Our casualties were 1 man mortally and about 6 slightly wounded. 
The enemy's loss is not known, but it is supposed to have been heavy. 

The fire of the enemy was kept up steiidily on the Gth until evening, 
material damage being done to the work. Casualties, 7. 

Having received orders about 7.30 p. M. to hold myself in readiness 
to evacuate the work, spike the guns, and blow it up, with the assistance 
of Captain F. D. Lee and Lieutenant Stiles of the Engineers I laid the 
safety-match in loose powder in the magazine, running it out to the 
parapet of the work. The match was laid on planks, so as to prevent 
any moisture from reaching it. The men composing the garrison of the 
battery were embarked immediately after the last of the Twenty -seventh 

cxxviii APPENDIX 

Georgia. On receiving orders from Colonel Keitt, I spiked the two 10^ 
inch guns, breaking the spikes flush off with the guns ; had the field- 
pieces spiked and thrown overboard, with all their ammunition; anU 
directed Major Holcombe, commissary of subsistence, who had volun- 
teered to assist me, to light the match. The match went out at first, 
but on being lighted again burned well. On Ck)lonel Keitt's counter- 
manding the order for lighting, it was found impossible to extinguish 
it, and it could not be cut with the knife which we had. This wa? but 
a few minutes before we left the point, and it was then within the door- 
way of the magazine and burning freely. I omitted to mention tliat the 
match was cut off to burn about fifteen minutes, it burjiing a foot in 
fifteen seconds. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Henry R. Lesesne, 
Captain First South Carolina Artilltry. 
Major Henry Bryan, 

Assistant Adjutant- General, 

Naval Attaek on Sullivan's Island, 

Head-quarters Fort Moultrie, S. C, | 
September 9, 1863. ) 

Sir: I have the honor to report- that yesterday morning, 8tli instant, 
one of the monitors (the Weehawken) was observed to be aground 
opposite this post, and fire was at once opened on her with effect, 
many of our shots having been seen to strike the hull, of which a 
large portion was exposed by the lowness of the tide. The steamer 
promptly replied, and soon brought to lier assistance the Ironsides and 
five monitors. At about 8 A. M. the Ironsides came to anchor about 
1200 yards from the fort, and the monitors took their position higher 
up the river and at about 1800 yards, and together opened a terrific fire 
from rifled and XV-inch guns, using shot, shell, shrapnel, grape, and 
incendiary shell. 

I regret to announce here an accident most terrible in its effect, and 
but for which our casualties would have been but slight. A XV-inch 
shell from the Weehawken struck the muzzle of an 8-inch columbiad, 
and, glancing off, exploded among a number of shell-boxes and am- 
munition-chests which had been placed behind a traverse (and at which 
a number of the men of Captain Smith's company were stationed), kill- 
ing instantly 16 men and wounding 12 others. Captain R. P. Smith, 
Jr., himself narrowly escaped by leaping from the parapet into the 
ditch in front of the fort. 

The fire from the enemy now became furious, and broadside after 
broadside from the Ironsides would tear through the buildings of the 
fort) sending fragments of every description in every direction, and 


renderiDg it almost hupossible to pass from one portion of the fort to 
another; but Dobly did officers and meu remain at their guns and return 
tlieir fire. Captain Burnet's company came from the Beauregard Bat- 
tery under a storm of shot and shell and relieved Captain Smith, whose; 
men had been nearly all killed or wounded by the explosion already 

Lieutenant D. G. Calhoun deserves great credit for the manner in- 
which he discharged his duties as officer of the day in carrying out the 
arrangements for the. removal of the dead and wounded, and frequently 
in extinguishing fires in different parts of the fort during the most 
severe part of the bombardment. 

Captain G: A. Wardlaw^ assistant quartermaster^ volunteered his ser-' 
vices at one of the guns, and was conspicuous for his coolness and the 
manner in which he handled his piece, but was himself knocked down 
by a piece of one of the traverses, which, fortunately, inflicted no other 
damage than a momentary unconsciousness and some slight bruises. 

Lieutenant D. B. DeSaussure while gallantly fighting his gun was 
struck by a large fragment of stone, which fractured his collar-bone 
and, it is feared, inflicted some internal injury. 

Our fire was kept up steadily until 2 p. M., when the enemy withdrew, 
and one of the monitors, being evidently damaged, was towed out by 
two others. 

The fire from the fort was deliberate and remarkably accurate, nearly 
every shot striking the boat at which it was aimed. 

As I cannot mention any one more conspicuous for gallantry than 
another, I must content myself with simply saying that officers and 
men did their whole duty, and submit the names of the officers and 
companies engaged. The battery on the east was commanded by Cap- 
tain Jacob Valentine, Company G, with Lieutenant DeSaussure; the 
battery next on the west was commanded by Captain B. J. Witherspoon, 
Company C ; and the next battery by Captain R. Press Smith, Jr., Com- 
pany E, with Lieutenants D. G. Calhoun and E. C. Edgerton, and after- 
ward by Captain B. S. Burnet, Company F, with Lieutenants W. D. 
Gaillard, E. M. Whaley, and William J. Marshall. 

Lieutenant L. W. Perrin rendered very efficient services as ordnance 
officer, and Surgeon Flournoy Carter and Assistant Surgeon E. H. 
Kellers assiduously supplied the demands of the wounded. 

Two of the guns of the fort were placed hors de combat — the one an 
8-inch columbiad, already referred to, and the other a rifled 32-pounder, 
the trunnion of which was knocked off* by a piece of shell. 

About 1 o'clock this morning, on the signal that an attack was being 
made on Fort Sumter, we again opened fire with shell and grape, firing 
so as to pass close to the right and left of the fort, and on a signal of 
"All right!" again ceased firing. 

I have the honor to submit herewith a report of the casualties, the 



number of wounded being far smaller than was at first reported, many 
of the wounds being slight and the men returned to duty ; 

Coiumaod, etc. 




Company C, Captain B. J. WUbcrspooa: 

Non-conimissioucd officers 








Enlisted men 

Company E, Captoin K. Press Smith, Jr. : 

Non-commis^>ioned officers 



Enlisted men 

Company F, Captain B. S. Burnet: 

£nli:itcd men 

Company (.J, Captain J. Valentine: 

Comml&«iioned officers 

Enlisted men 







All of which is respectfully submitted. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Robert DeTreville, 
Lieutenant M. King, Major, commanding. 

Acting AsaUtant Adjutant- Genercd, 

Engagement with the Forts in Charleston Harbor. 

Flao>steamer Philadelphia, ) 
Off Morris Island, September 8, 1863. ) 

Sir: I have already informed you, by express despatch, that the 
enemy evacuated the whole of Morris Island yesterday morning, just 
previous to an assault. I immediately designed to put in operation a 
plan to capture Fort Sumter, and, as a preliminary, ordered the Wee- 
hawken to pass in by a narrow channel winding about Cum ml ng's Point, 
so as to cut off all communication by that direction. In so doing the 
Weehawken grounded, and, though at low water, did not succeed in 
floating at the next high tide. 

Late in the day, at the proper time, I went on board the Ironsides, 
and moved up with the iron-clads to feel, and if possible pass, the 
obstructions north of Sumter. Moultrie and Batteries Bee and Beaure- 
gard quickly opened on us, and soon experienced a severe fire from our 
vessels, which was continued until I deemed it best to give entire atten- 
tion to the Weehawken. Steam-tugs and hawsers were provided .amply, 
but at the high tide of this morning did not succeed in floating her. 
About 7 A. M. the enemy perceived her condition, and began to fire 
from Moultrie, about 2000 yards distant I ordered up the iron-clads 
to cover the Weehawken, which, meanwhile, gallantly replied, and in 


less than an hour's firing blew up ono of tho enemy's magazines, which 
was recognized by a cheer from the men of our vessels near me. Somo 
movement in Sumter seemed to draw attention from the Weehawken, 
which, with a few well-directed shells, settled that business. 

Captain Colhoun has, in my opinion, more than compensated for the 
misfortune of getting aground by the handsome manner in which he 
has retorted on the adversary and defended the glorious flag that floats 
above him. At 11 ^ A. M. I telegraphed to him; "Well done, Wee- 
hawkenl Don't give up the ship." We may lose the services of 
this vessel — I hope not — but the honor of the flag will be maintained. 

It is proper to say that the iron-clads have been navigated under tho 
most disadvantageous circumstances. They really have not had pilots. 
Mr. Godfrey has left us, and Mr. Haflbrds fell off the turret at night, 
being the only real pilots in this squadron. The monitors have been 
aground several times in action, and it is surprising that some of them 
have not been lost. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

J. A. Dahlgren, 
Bear- Admiral, commanding S. A. B. Squadr<m. 

Hon. Gideon Welles, 

Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C, 

P. S. — G. P. M. I am happy to say that at high water the Weehawken 
was gotten off, I commend Captain Colhoun, his officers, and crew to 
the notice of the Department. The crews of the other vessels cheered 
spontaneously as he passed. J. A. D. 

Report of the Commander of the Monitor Weehawken, ashore and 
engaged September 8, 1863, 

U. S. Irox-clad Weehawken, ) 
Off Fort Wagner, September p, 18G3. ) 
Sir: On the 7th inst.. in obedience to your order, I proceeded with 
the Weehawken to buoy out the channel inside the buoy off* Fort Wag- 
ner, in the direction of Curaming's Point. After passing the buoy off 
Wagner about 200 yards, I dropped a buoy in seventeen feet of water, 
and again, 400 yards farther on, a second one in fifteen feet of water, 
steering up nearly midway between Cumming's Point and Sumter. I 
anchored at 8.30 A. M. about 300 yards from the last buoy, it being then 
nearly low water. At 9.30 A. M. she swung to tlic flood-tide, and the 
channel being narrow, she touched bottom very lightly in eleven feet 
of water. When the tide had risen sufficiently to float her, I got under 
way, in obedience to your order, to " return to my anchorage near the 
New Ironsides ;" but in consequence of the shoal water she steered very 


badly ; taking a " rank sheer " to port, she brought up on the bank ia 
eleven feet water. In the afternoon, at high water, I failed to get her 
o% as also on the following morning, though every effort was made by 
taking coal and shot out, with one tug to assist us. At 8.30 A. M. (8th 
September) Fort Moultrie opened on us, the lower part of the overhang 
on the port side being then nearly out of water. As we lay upon the 
bank Fort Moultrie was nearly on our port beam. She fired slowly and 
deliberately at first to get the range, aiming under the overhang; then 
with rapidity, followed by other batteries on Sullivan's Island. This 
I had expected, and was ready for. I had been on deck from early in 
the morning, and had given orders to let the men sleep after their hard 
work during the night. We opened in a few minutes on Moultrie. The 
second shell from the XV-inch gun exploded a magazine to the left of 
the flagstaff, and she was silent for some time. When the Ironsides and 
monitors engaged the batteries they ceased firing at us. I then sent the 
men to breakfast, and after they had finished opened on Sumter. When 
the Ironsides and monitors withdrew from action they left the Wee- 
hawken alone. 

I then made my preparations to get afloat at high water in the after- 
noon, and succeeded, though under a heavy fire from Sullivan's Island 
and Battery Simkins on James Island. I had three men wounded by 
a shot from Battery Bee, striking on the top of the turret, breaking the 
plating and railroad iron — one, John O'Grady, ordinary seaman, severely 
in the left thigh. I enclose herewith Assistant Surgeon E. M. Stein's 
report. We were hit twenty-four times, doing no material damage. 
One shot struck the lower part of the overhang, passed under, made a 
hole about three inches in diameter, and fractured the iron from the 
angles. The leak was soon stopped. We fired at Moultrie and Bee 36 
shell ; at Sumter, 46 ; total, 82. 

The officers and men under my command deserve the highest praij»e 
for their behavior. Such a measure of endurance, patriotism, and valor 
as I have seen exhibited since I have been in command assures me they 
cannot be e^^celled. 

Very respectfully, etc., 

Edwin R. Colhoun, 


Rear- Admiral J. A. Dahlgren, 

Oomtnanding, etc. 

[The injuries received required sixteen days for repairs. It is impossi- 
ble not to admire the fine conduct and resolution of this commander and 
his crew. Their grounding was first noticed by Major Elliott from Fort 
Sumter, and signalled to Fort Moultrie; but the firing was limited by 
the bursting of the Vll-inch Brooke rifle at Moultrie, though main- 
tained by Battery Bee. Yet it seems not to have been efficient enough. 


So Major Elliott complained. I have always wondered why the Wee- 
hawken did not fall an easy prey to the fire of Battery Simkins. — J. J*] 

AcUons of the Iron-clad Fleet vdth the Works on StUlivan'a Momd 
091 the 7ih and 8th of September, 1863, 

Head-quarters Artillery, ) 
Sullivan's Island, Sept. 12, 1863. 1 ; 
Captain Edwakp White, A,.A.-G.: 

Sir: I have the honor to make the following report of the actions 
between the batteries on this island and the iron-olad^eet of the eneniy 
on the 7th and 8th of this month. 

On the afternoon of the 7th, about 6 p.'m., five monitors and the frig- 
ate Ironsides engaged the batteries; UnUl' after dark) resulting in one^ 
casualty at our batteries. First Lieutenant E. A. Erwin was killed by 
a shell at Beauregard Battery. Lieutenant Erwin had just returned 
from service' on- Morris Island, and escaped unhurt to meet death at a 
less exposed position. He was more than ordinarily intelligent, brave, 
and Conscientious. The regiment has lost in him one of its best ofiicers. 

The Ironsides continued to fire an occasional shot after we had ceased 
firing, until about nine o'clock p. M. It was, however, so dark that the 
vessels could not be seen. 

On the morning of the 8th one of the monitore, supposed to be the 
Weehawken, which had the day previous taken a position very near the 
beach of Morris Island, in the channel leading to Cumming's Point, 
nearly opposite to Fort Moultrie, was observed to show so much of her 
hull as to lead to the belief that the boat was aground. I received also, 
early in tlie morning, a despatch from Major Elliott, commanding Fort 
Sumter, giving his belief that the boat was aground and could be de- 
stroyed. Learning from a conversation with Brigadier-General T. L. 
Clingman, commanding Sullivan's Island, that it would meet with his 
sanction, I directed a slow fire to be opened upon the monitor from the 
treble-banded Brooke gun and 10-inch columbiads — I think with some 
effect. The fire was returned, and about nine o'clock a. m. five other 
monitors, with the Ironsides, were seen approaching — whether to shield 
the boat that was thought to be aground, or whether it was a precon- 
certed move, I am unable to say. About this time a shell from the Wee- 
hawken struck the muzzle of an 8-inch columbiad in Fort Moultrie, and 
glanced into some shell-boxes which were protected by a traverse, 
producing an explosion, killing sixteen and wounding twelve men of 
Company E, First South Carolina Infantry, Captain R.. Press Smith. 
This disaster rendered it necessary to replace Company E by Company^ 
F, Captain Burgh S. Burnet, which arrived under fire from Beauie- 
glird Battery.. 

cxxxiv APPENDIX. 

The IroDindes took a position some 1500 yards distant, and opened o 
very heavy fire from her broadsides. The monitors took positions var}*-. 
ing from 900 to 14C0 yards, ail directing their fire upon Fort Moultrie 
and tiie batteries adjoining. Batteries Bee and Beauregard also received 
a portion of their fire. The batteries replied, but, owing to tlic scant 
ammunition on hand, the fire was not so rapid as that of the fleet. After 
the action had continued about five hours the fleet withdrew, one of the 
monitors I think disabled, the Weehawken remaining in the same posi- 
tion it occupied this morning. 

Besides the loss produced by the explosion before referred to, three 
men were killed; two officers — Captain O. A. Wardlaw slightly, and 
Lieutenant D. B.. DeSauasure severely — and fourteen men wounded at 
Fort Moultrie. 

At Battery Bee one officer and one man were slightly wounded, and 
at Battery Beauregard one officer, Lieutenant Edward W. Macbeth, 
slightly wounded. 

Two guns in Fort Moultrie were disabled — ^the 8-inch columbiad before 
referred to, and one rifle 82-pounder. No other material damage was 
done to the batteries. 

I regret to say that the treble-banded Brooke gun gave way during 
the action, a crack being made in the band* in rear of the vent and 
through the breech. I beg leave to refer to the report of Lieutenant B. 
Y. Dwight for an explanation of the circumstances attending the loss 
of this valuable gun. 

The firing at the several batteries on the island was accurate and de- 
liberate, and it affords me great pleasure to commend the conduct of 
both officers and men of my command. 

I enclose herewith the reports of battery commanders, with a list of 
killed and wounded. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Wm. Butler, 
Colonel^ commanding. 

Union Reports of Naval AssatUt on Fort Sumter. 

Flag-steamer Philadelphia, » 
Off Morris Island, September 11, 1863. J 
Sir: The Department is already informed that on the night of the 
6th the enemy evacuated Morris Island, leaving it in our possession. 
This offered an opportunity for assaulting Fort Sumter, which was well 
broken on the gorge and sonth-east faces, and, if successful, would 
enable me to pass the obstructions in the main channel. 

I therefore directed a party of volunteers to be called for, which was 
done, under the following officers, viz.: Commander T. H. Stevens, 


I-ieutenant Moreau Forrest, aide; Lieutenant-Commander E. P. Wil- 
uams, commanding first division; Lieutenant G. C. Remey, command- 
'og second division; Lieutenant S. W. Preston, commanding third 
<iiviaion ; Lieutenant F, J. Higginson, commanding fourth division ; 
Ensign C. H. Craven, commanding fifth division; Lieutenant-Com- 
mander F. M. Bunce, Lieutenant E. T. Brower, Ensign James Wallace, 
E«isign B. H. Porter, and Ensign C. H. Craven. Also, the following 
officers of the marine corps : Captain C. G. McCawley, First Lieutenant 
Charles H. Bradford, First Lieutenant John C. Harris, Second Lieuten- 
^^} R. L. Meade, Second Lieutenant Lyman P. Wallace, and Second 
^*eutenant L. E. Fagan. 

^mmander Stevens was appointed to command the whole detach- 

1 ^^^' On making a request to General Gillmore for some boats, I 

^^rned that he also contemplated an assault the same night. It was 

l^te in the evening before all the arrangements were made, particularly 

the concert with the detachment from the army, which was chiefly due to 

the want of competent signal oflScers. It was about 10 o'clock when the 

oo&ts, in tow of a tug, started up the main channel, and had hardly 

Wroachcd Sumter when the sound of musketry announced the attack. 

^is did not last long, and was followed by shell, etc. from Moultrie. 

^ore I could reach Sumter the conflict had ceased. It was next morn- 

^ before I learned positively that our party had been repulsed with 

coosjderable loss. Of 400 men, I learned by flag of truce that 130 are 

" ^onei-a; by our accounts, 104 men and 10 officers are prisoners, and 3 

^en aro killed 

J. A. Dahloren, 
^^ri . OiDEON Welles, Rear-Admiral^ etc. 

Secretary of Navy\ etc 

' ■ • • "About midnight we cast off from the Daffodil, and directly 

T ^x\ ^^ptain Stevens hailed and ordered me to pull for Fort Sumter. 

ai^ ^e>, and while pulling Captain Stevens ordered me to follow the 

boa oi:^ ^y starboard bow, telling me she was going behind the fort. I 

loiow^^ the boat a» directed, and passed the side of Fort Sumter which 

tacea ^ort Moultrie. Discovering a steamer coming from behind the 

* tHe leading boat went in close under the walls. Wc followed her, 

att pviliecl back toward the sea- face, examining the foot of the fort to 

T ^i! ^^^ ^^ ^^^ boats had landed. Upon coming to the right bastion 

^*^^ sea-face (the eastern angle), I found the marines in boats firing 

^*^^ fort. I could find no officer to report to regarding the steamer, 

^ 'io one could tell mc whether our men had- landed or wliere they 

. ^^^« Seeing a boat sinking, I pulled toward it, but found that all of 

^« men had been taken out or drowned The interval from the 

"Dae the first gun was fired until the order to retreat was given was 
&oo\it twenty minutes, the enemy using small-arms and hand-grenades. 


Almost all the marine boats and a great many boats with sailors in 
them replied to the enemy's fire with their musketjs and revolrers.*' .... 

James Wallace, 
Ensign, commanding Naval Battery. 
Bear- Admiral J. A. Dahlgren, 

Commanding, etc. 

Marine Battalion. 
. ..." No one in our boat or the Housatonic's heard the order * Pull 
for. Sumter' ^ which I .have understood was passed around). We were 

completely at a loss what to do I pulled for the Philadelphia to 

report for orders. You then sent for me to come on board Scarcely 

bad I got in my boat when I saw two or three quick flashes of light 
(musketry), by which. I found we were but a few hundred yards from 
Sumter. Before I could say Xast off/ almost, the men were pulling 
lustily and in great spirits for the fort. We closed in rapidly among 
the other boats, and got into the thick of the fight, when Moultrie and 
the other batteries opened. Every boat left us ; the call all around was 
* Cease firing and draw off,' and, disgusted anew, we did so. After we 
got out a little I reconnoitred our position, and found the stampede was 
increasing and no boats on the ground. . . . • Throughout I could see 
nothing but the utmost confusion." .... 

John C. Harris, 
Second Lieutenant U. S, Marines. 
Bear- Admiral J. A. Dahloren, 

I Commanding , etc. 

Marine Battalion. 

.... "I was in charge of a detachment of 6 officers, 6 sergeants, 8 
corporals, and 86 privates, and reported myself and command to Com- 
mander T. H. Stevens I was instructed to keep my command in 

the rear, and not to land until the sailors had done so — to fire on the 
enemy from our boats and cover the landing, and as soon as they got in 
to cease firing. land ourselves, and use the bayonet. .-. . . We were soon 
discovered, and the fire began from the loopholes and parapet. This my 
men returned briskly, until a cry arose of * Cease firing !' Presuming 
that our sailors had landed, I called to the boats to cease firing and land, 
but, to my great surprise, saw them all immediately turn and pull away 
after the crowd of others which were going out. 

" I called in vain to stop, and followed as fast as I could until I found 
that the leading boat was that of Captain Stevens (?), which Mr. Craven 
hailed and threatened to fire into, until informed whose it was. We 
asked what we were to do, and were told to go to the Daffodil. .... 

" I find 2 lieutenants, 2 sergeants, 2 corporals, and 25 privates are 
missing, probably in the hands of the enemy, and 1 private wounded on 


board the Mcfinpbis. It was very dark near the fort, and there was greiit 
confusion." C. G. McCawley, 

Captain U. S. Marines, 
Rear-Admiral J. A. Dahlgren, 

(Jommandingj etc. 

Major Elliott's Report of Naval Assault on Fort Sumter. 

Head-quarters, Fort vSumter, ) 
September 12, 1863, I 

Captain: I have the honor to submit a report of the late action at 
this post. 

On the 4th instant, pursuant to Special Orders No. 298, head-quarters 
First Military District, Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and 
Florida, I assumed command, with' the Charleston battalion of infantry 
(commanded by Major J. A. Blake) as a garrison. All the available 
guns having been already dismounted, the defense was to be conducted 
by infantry. 

The condition of the work was a» follows : The gorge A had been so 
cut by the enemy's artillery that the Bcarp had assumed the form of an 
inclined plane with a dip of about 45°. The wall of the east face had 
been shot away, leaving the arches (whjch had been filled with sand) 
exposed. The north-east face was comparatively secure. The north- 
west contained several serious breaches, and one of very considerable 
size, B. This was defended by a barricade. The others were securely 
obstructed. The west face was uninjured, the lower tier of embrasures 
being merely closed by their usual shutters. The main sally-port in 
this face had been pierced for musketry and commanded the wharf. 

Dispositions similar to the following were habitually made: Captain 
J. W. Hopkins's company (D), 43 nien, lay on their arms on the parapet 
of the gorge, and Captain F. T. Miles's company (E), 12 men, at the 
breach in the north-west face. The guards, excepting the sentinels on 
post, were to defend the sally-port. Captain T. Y. Simons's company 
(B), 28 men, lay at the entrance on the west face. In case of an alarm. 
Captain S. Lord's company (F), 42 men, was to occupy the south-west 
angle and support Captain Hopkins on the right. Lieutenant J. C. Sal- 
tus's company (A), 12 men, at the south-east, was to support him on the 
left. Lieutenant J. G. Harris's company (G), 25 men, was to occupy 
the north-east angle. Captain J. M. Mulvaney, Company C, 43 men, 
was to support Captain Miles. In case their services should not be 
needed, the last four companies were to remain formed on the parade 
below their respective positions, so as to be ready to move to any weak 

I had procured from Charleston a supply of hand-grenades and fire- 

cxxxviii APPENDIX. 

balls. Detachments of men for each of these kinds of service were 
kept constantly in position at three different points of the parapet. 

I requested Captain Champneys, the engineer in charge, to plant two 
fougaases in the wharf leading from the gorge. During the attack he 
kindly superintended their delivery. 

At 1 A. M. (September 9), while observing a monitor which had taken 
a position near the fort, I saw the enemy pulling up from the eastward 
in two columns, the head of the one directed upon the north-east, that 
of the other upon the south-east, angle of the fort. I ordered up three 
companies within supporting distance, and reserved our lire until they 
had deployed and commenced to land. The outer boats replied rap- 
idly for n few minutes. 

The crews of those that had effected a landing sought refuge from the 
galling fire under the projecting masses of the wall, whence grenades 
and fire-balls soon dislodged them. 

The fire of the Chicora, lying at a short distance to the northward, 
of Sullivan's Island to the north-east, and of Fort Johnson to the west- 
ward, encircled the work and effectfuUy assisted to prevent any reinforce- 
ments coming up. 

The enemy — with some of his boats disabled by hand-grenades and 
masses of masonry (convenient weapons to the ready hands of our gar- 
rison), and overwhelmed by our own and the fire of our supports — called 
for quarter, and were ordered in detail to make their way to the goige, 
whence they were transferred to a place of security. 

Not one of our men was injured. The whole force engaged on our 
side consisted of 80 riflemen and 24 men detached for service of the 
grenades and fire-balls. The remainder of the garrison were ready for 
action and remained in position. 

The force of the enemy exceeded, according to the statements of cap- 
tured officers, 400 men. 

His ascertained loss was 6 killed, 15 wounded, and 106 prisoners, of 
whom 11 were officers. 

We captured also five barges, five stand of colors (among them a flag 
said by the prisoners to be the flag borne from the fort by Major Robert 
Anderson in 1801), and a small quantity of arms and accoutrements. 
Most of tlie latter were thrown overboard by the prisoners and lost 
Several boats drifted off with dead and wounded men. 

The action was brief and decisive, as they found us prepared, and 
were thi'mselves surprised at meeting more than a nominal resistance. 

The Charleston battalion fully sustained its well-earned reputation by 
cheerfully enduring the hardships of its position and moving forward 
with energy in the moment of danger. 

All the officers performed their duties well. The adjutant of the bat- 
talion, ^^ieutenant W. Mason Smith, rendered me throughout great 
assistance. . - ■'. 



I hme tiie honor to refer you to the accompanying papers, containing 
lists of killed, wounded, and prisoners, and of captured arms and other 
property, and also a sketch of the fort, showing the positions of the inte- 
rior communications and the dispositions of the troops. 

I cannot omit to mention the services of Captain J. X. Champneys, 
of the Engineer corps, who has shown gre^t zeal and ability in con- 
ducting the defenses of this work. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Stephen Elliott, Jr., 
Major Artillery, Provisional Army C. iSl, commanding. 
Captain W. F. Nance, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

Congratulations from Ridimond, 

War Department, C. S., ) 
Richmond, September 9, 1863. i 
Qekesal. G. T. Beauregard, 

Ckarkston, S, C: 
Your telegrams, informing of the repulse of the iron-clads and of the 
late brilliant affair at Sumter, have been received with the liveliest sat- 
isfaction. We watch with intense anxiety the progress of your noble 
struggle, and each achievement illustrative of the constancy and hero- 
ism of your gallant brethren in arms is warmly appreciated, and affords 
hopeful augury of future triumph. The brave defenders of Charleston 
are honored and relied on throughout the Confederacy. 

J. A. Seddon, 

Secretary of War, 

Intended Assault on Sumter by Qeneral Oillmore, 

^tial Orders ) Head-quarters U. S. Forces, ) 

No, 150, ) Morris Island, S. C, September 0, 1863. i 

An attempt will be made to-night to carry Fort Sumter by assault. 
The regiments detailed for this purpose are the Tenth Connecticut and 
Twenty-fourth Massachusetts volunteers. Colonel Osborn, of the Twen- 
ty-fourth Massachusetts, will command the party. He will be accom- 
panied by Major O. S. Sanford, Seventh Connecticut volunteerj*, on the 
staff of the brigadier-general commanding the post, who, having care- 
fully reconnoitred the route to be taken, will be able to advise Colonel 
Osborn of it. 

One hundred additional men for oarsmen have been detailed from the 
Seventh Connecticut and One-Hundred-and-Fourth Pennsylvania volun- 
teers. . The men will be embarked at the bridge immediately after sunset, 


and the assault will be made at the earliest moment possible. Should 
the assault succeed, a red countersign light will be immediately burned 
from the parapet of the work. 

After the capture of the fort the force will return at once, leaving 100 
men RH a garrison. These men must shelter themselves as far as possible 
in the uninjured casemates, and they will be supplied with provisions 
to-morrow night. A signal officer will accompany the party, who will 
remain with the garrispn to be left in the fort. 

The plan of the attack has been communicated verbally to Colonel 
Osborn. A red light burned ou the fort prior to the arrival of Colonel 
Osborn^s party will indicate that a similar attack has been successfully 
made by the navy. 

On withdrawing the force the boats will be brought into Vincent's 
Creek, on the left of the approaches to Wagner. Every man will have 
the countersign '* Detroit,'' and will use it as a watchword in making 
the assault. 

fey order of Brigadier-General A. H. Terry. 

Adrian Terry, 
Oaptain, and Assistant Ac^'utant- General. 


[From Battle and Leaders of the CivU War^ Century Co.] 

The Opposing Land Forces at Charleston, S. C 

The composition, losses, and strength of each army as here stated give 
the gist of all the data obtainable in the official records, (k stands for 
killed; w for wounded; m w for mortally wounded ; m for captured or 
missing; c for captured.) 

Union: Maj.-Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore, commanding Department of 
the South. 

Confederate : General G. T. Beauregard, commanding Department of 
South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. 

Battery Wagner, July 18th. 
Union.— First Division, Brig.-Gen. Truman Seymgur (w). 

First Brigade— Brig.-Gen. George C. Strong (m w) : 6th Conn., Col. 
John L. Chatfield (m w), Capt. John N. Tracy; 9th Me., Col. Sabine 
Emery (w) ; 54th Mass. (colored). Col. Robert G. Shaw (k), Capt. Luis 
F. Emilio; 3d N. H., Col. John H. Jackson (w) ; 48th N. Y., Col. Wil- 
liam B. Barton (w) ; 76th Pa., Captain John S. Littell. Second Brigade 
—Col. Haldimand 8. Putnam (k) : 7th N. H., Lieut.-Col. Joseph C. 
Abbott; 100th N. Y., Col. George B. Dandy; 62d Ohio, Col. Francis B. 


Pond ; 67th Ohio, Col. Alvin C. Voris ( w). Artillery— Lieut.-Col. Richard 
W. Jackson aiid Capt. Loomis L. Langdon (in charge of siege- batteries) ; 
C, 3d R. I., Capt. Charles R. Bray ton ; E, 3d U. S., Lieut. John R. 
My rick. 

Total Union loss: killed, 246; wounded, 880; captured or missing, 
389 = 1515. The strength of the assaulting column (exclusive of Steven- 
son's brigade, held in reserve) is estimated at 5000. 

Confederate. — Garrison — Brig.-Gen. William B. Taliaferro: 33d 
Ga., Col. George P. Harrison, Jr. ; 31st N. C, Lieut.-Col. C. W. Knight ; 
5l8t N. C, Col. Hector McKethan ; Charleston (S. C.) battalion, Lieut.- 
Col. P. C. Gaillard (w) ; 7th S. C. battalion, Maj. J. H. Rion. Artil- 
lery— Lieu t.-Col. J. C. Simkins (k): 63d Ga. (2 co's.), Capts. J. T. 
Buckner and W. J. Dixon; Ist S. C. (2 co^s.), Capts. W. T. Tatom (k) 
and Warren Adams; S. C. Battery, Capt. W. L. DePass. 

Total Confederate loss: killed and wounded, 174. 

Total force guarding fortifications around Charleston, about 8500. 

Total engaged at Battery Wagner, about 1000. 

Siege Operations, August-September, 1863. 

Union. — Morris Island, Brig.-Gen. Alfred H. Terry. 

First Brigade— Col. Henry R. Guss : 9th Me., Lieut.-Col. Z. H. Robin- 
s^m; 3d N. H., Capt. James F. Randlett; 4th N. H., Lieut.-Col. Louis 
Bell; 97th Pa., Maj. Galusha Pennypacker. Second Brigade — Col. 
Joshua B. Howell ; 39th 111., Col. Thomas O. Osborn ; 62d Ohio, Col. 

F. B. Pond; 67th Ohio, Maj. Lewis Butler; 85th Pa., Maj. Edward 
Campbell. Third Brigade— Brig.-Gen. Thomas G. Stevenson : 7th Conn., 
Col. Joseph R. Hawley; 10th Conn., Maj. Edwin S. Greeley; 24th 
Mass., Col. Francis A. Osborn; 7th N. H., Lieut.-Col. J. C. Abbott; 
100th N. Y., Col. G. B. Dandy. Fourth Brigade— Col. James Mont- 
gomery : 54th Mass. (colored), Col. M. S. Littlefield; 2d S. C. (colored), 
Lieut.-Col. W. W. Marple; 3d U. S. C. T., Col. B. C. Tilghman. Fifth 
Brigade— Col. W. W. H. Davis: 47th N. Y., Maj. C. R. McDonald; 
Independent Battalion N. Y., Capt. M. Schmitt ; 52d Pa., Lieut.-Col. 
H. M. Hoyt; 104th Pa., Maj. E. L. Rodgers. Artillery— Lieut.-Col. 
R. W. Jackson and Capt. L. L. Langdon : B, 3d R. I.. Capt. Albert E. 
Green ; C, 3d R. I., Capt. Charles R. Brayton ; D, 8d R. I., Capt. Richard 

G. Shaw; H, 3d R. I., Capt. Augustus W. Colwell ; I, 3d R. I., Capt. 
Charles G. Strahan ; M, 3d R. I., Capt. Joseph J. Comstock, Jr. ; B, Ist 
U.S., Lieut. Guy V. Henry; C, Ist U. S. (detachment), Lieut. James 
E. Wilson ; E, 3d U. S., Lieut. John R. Myrick ; B, 3d N. Y., Capt. 
James E. Ashcroft; F, 3d N. Y., Lieut. Paul Birchmeyer. Miscel- 
laneous — Detachment 11th Me., Lieut. Charles Sellmer; Detachment 
I, 1st Mass. Cav., Lieut. Charles V. Holt ; 1st N. Y. Engineers, Col. 
Edward W. Serrell. 




North End op Folly Island, Brlg.-Gen. Israel Vogdes. 

African Brigade — Brig.-Gen. Edward A. Wild : 55th Mass., Col. Nor- 
wood P. Hallowell ; 1st N. C, Col. James C. Beecher ; 2d N. C. (detach- 
ment), Col. Alonzo G. Draper; 3d N. C. (detachment), Capt. John 
Wilder. Fostcr^s Brigade— Brig.-Gen. R. S. Foster: 13th Ind., Col. 
Cyrus J. Dobbs; 112th N. Y.,Col. Jeremiah C. Drake; 169th N. Y., CoL 
Clarence Buell, Alford's Brigade— Col. Samuel M. Alford : 3d N. Y., 
Lieut.-Col. E.G. Floyd; 89ih N. Y., Col. Harrison S. Fairchild; 103d 
N. Y., Col. William Heine; 117th N. Y., Col. Alvin White. ArUllery 
—1st Conn., Capt. A. P. Rockwell. 

South End of Folly Island, Brig.-Gen. Geo. H. Gordon. 

First Brigade— Brig.-Gen. A. Schimmelfennig : 41ftt N. Y., Lieut-Col. 
Detleo von Einsiedel; 54th N. Y., Capt. Clemens Knipschild; 127th 
N. Y., Lieut.-Col. Stewart L. Woodford ; 142d N. Y., Col. N. Martin 
Curtis; I07th Ohio, Capt. William Smith; 74th Pa., Capt. Henry 
Krauseneck. Second Brigade — Brig.-Gren. Adelbert Ames: 17th Conn., 
Col. W. H. Noble; 40th Mass., Lieut.-CoL Joseph A. Dalton; 144th 
N. Y., Col. David E. Gregory ; 157th N. Y., Maj. James C. Carmichael ; 
25th Ohio, Capt. Nathaniel Haughton ; 75th Ohio, Col. A. L. Harris. 

Recapitulation of Union losses, July lOth-Sept. 7th : 






Morris Island. July lOlh 









Battery Wapner, July llih 

Bottcry Wagner, July 18tb 

Siege operations, July 18th-Sept. 7th . . 


Total on Morris Island 


1372 5C5 


The effective strength of the land forces employed in the direct opera- 
tions against Charleston ranged from 11,000 to 16.000. 

The loss from Sept. 8 to Dec. 31, 1863, was 14 killed and 42 wounded 
= 66. 

Confederate— First Military District,' Brig.-Gen. R. S. Ripley. 

First Subdivision— Brig.-Gen. William B. Taliaferro: 6th Ga., Col. 
John T. Lofton; 19th Ga., Col. A. J. Hutchins; 32d Ga., Col. George 
P. Harrison, Jr. ; 64th Ga., Col. C. H. Way; 31st N. C, Col. John V. 
Jordon ; 21st S. C, Col. R. F. Graham ; 26th S. C, Col. C. H. Simonton; 

' The troops and commandcTS employed in the defense of Morris Island were 
relieved from time to time. The commanders were Brip.-Gen. W. B. Taliaferro, 
Brig.-Gen. Johnson Hagood, Brig.-Gen. A II. Colquitt, Col. B. F. Graham, Col. 
George P. Harrison, Jr., and Col. L. M. Keitt. 


Marion (S. C.) Art'y, Capt. E. L. Parker; Chatham (Ga.) Art'y, Capt 
John F. Wheaton : Palmetto (S. C.) battalion Art'y, Lieut.-Col. E. B. 
White ; S. C. Battery, Capt. J. T. Kanapaux ; A, 1st S. C. Art'y, Capt. 
F. D. Blake; Ga. and S. C. Siege Train, Maj. Edward Manigault; 2d 
S. C, Art'y, Col. A. D. Frederick ; S. C. Art'y, Capt, John R. Mathewes; 
Gist Guard (S. C.) Art'y, Capt. C. E. Chichester; 5th S. C. Cay. (4 co's.), 
Col. John Dunovant ; Lucas's (S. C.) battalion, Maj. J. J. Lucas; 23d 
Ga., Maj. M. R. Ballenger; 27th Ga., Maj. James Gardner; 28th Ga., 
Capt. W. P. Crawford ; Ist, 12th, and 18th Ga. battalions, Col. C. H. 
Olmstead; C, F, and I, 1st S. C. Art'y, Lieut.-Col. J. A. Yates; Savan- 
nah River Batteries, Capt. W. W. Billop; 11th S. C, Col. F. H. Gantt. 
Second Subdivision — Brig. -Gen. Thomas L. Clingman : 7th S. C. bat- 
talion, Lieut.-Col. P. H. Nelson; 8th N. C, Col. H. M. Shaw; 61st N. 
C, Col. H. McKethan; Gist N. C, Col. J. D. Radcliffe; 20th S. C, Col. 
L. M. Keitt; German Art'y, Capt. F. W. Wagener ; Inglis (S. C.) Art'y, 
Capt. W. R Charles; 1st S. C, Col. William Butler; S. C. Cav., Capt. 
A. D. Sparks; E, 5th S. C. Cav., Capt. L. A. Whilden; H and K, Ist 
S. C. Art'y, Capts. H. R. Lesesne and A. S. Gaillard. Third Subdivision 
{Morris Island) — Brig. -Gen. A. H. Colquitt: [The troops of this com- 
mand were drawn from other subdivisions and appear in the commands 
to which they properly belonged.] Fourth Subdivision (Fort Sumter) 
-Col. Alfred Rhett, Maj. Stephen Elliott, Jr. : B, D, and E, 1st S. 0. 
Art'y ; B, 27th Ga. ; F, 28th Ga. Castle Pinckney and Fort Ripley : G, 
Ist 8. C. Art'y, Capt. W. H. Peronneau. [Subsequent to the fall of 
Morris Island other troops were detailed, in turn, to garrison Fort 
Sumter.] Fifth Subdivision— Brig.-Gen. W. G. DeSaussure; Ist S. C. 
(Mil.), Col. Ed. Magrath; 1st S. C. Art'y (Mil.), Col. J. A. Wagener; 
18th S. C. (Mil.), Col. J. E. Carew; battalion State Cadets, Maj. J. B. 
White; D and H, 5th S. C. Cav., Lieut.-Col. R. J. Jeffords; K, 4th S. 
C. Cav., Capt. R. H. Colcock ; S. C. Battery, Capt. W. E. Earle ; Charles- 
ton battalion, Maj. Julius A. Blake. Evans's Brigade*— Brig.-Gen. N. G. 
Evans: 17th S. C, Col. F. W. McMaster ; 18th S. C, Col. W. H. Wal- 
lace; 22d S. C.,Col. S. D. Goodlett; 23d S. C, Col. H. L. Benbow; 26th 
S. C, Col. A. D. Smith ; Holcombe Legion, Lieut.-Col. W. J. Crawley. 
Anderson's Brigade*— Brig.-Gen. G. T. Anderson: 7th Ga., Col. W. W. 
White; 8th Ga., Col. John R. Towers; 9th Ga., Col. B. Beck ; 11th Ga., 
Col. F. H. Little ; 59th Ga., Col. Jack Brown. Wise's Brigade*— Brig.- 
Gen. Henry A. Wise: 26th Va.,Col. P. R. Page; 4th Va. Heavy Art'y, 
Col. J. T. Goode; 46th Va., Col. R. T. W. Duke ; 59th Va., Col. W. B. 

General Beauregard, in his oflScial report, says : " The total loss in 

killed and wounded on Morris Island from July 10th to September 7th 

was only 641 men; and deducting the killed and wounded due to the 

landing on July 11th and 18th, the killed and wounded by the terrible 

* Joined after capture of Morris Island by Union forces. 

cxliv APPENDIX. 

bombardment, which lasted almost uninterruptedly, night and day, 
during fifty-eight days, only amounted to 296 men, many of whom 
were only slightly wounded. It is still more remarkable that during 
the same period of time, when the enemy fired 6202 shots and shells at 
Fort Sumter, varying in weight from 30 to 300 pounds, only 3 men were 
killed and 49 wounded." 

The entire loss in the defenses of Charleston from July 10th to Sep- 
tember 7th was 157 killed, 674 wounded, and 159 captured or missing 
= 990. (See Official Records, vol. xxviii., part i. p, 409.) 

It is estimated that the force defending the immediate approaches to 
Charleston ranged from 6500 to 18,000. 

Remarks Relative to Iron-clad Ounboats, 


Nov. 14, 1863. 

Charleston, S. C, ) 

Our gunboats are defective in six respects: 

First. They have no speed, going only from three to five miles an hour 
in smooth water and no current. 

Second. They are of too great draught to navigate our inland waters. 

Third. They are unsea worthy by their shape and construction, a* 
represented by naval officers. Even in the harbor they are at times 
considered unsafe in a storm. 

Fourth. They are incapable of resisting the enemy's XV-inch shots 
at close quarters, as shown by the Atlanta in Warsaw Sound last spring. 

Fifth. They cannot fight at long range, their guns not admitting an 
elevation greater than from 5® to 7°, corresponding to 1} t« U ™i^^ 
range. Even at long range, naval officers are of opinion that the oblique 
sides and flat decks of our gunboats would not resist the plunging shots 
of the enemy's 200- and 300-pounders. 

(The best proof of total failure of the three iron-clad gunboats, Chi- 
cora, Palmetto State, and Charleston, constructed at such cost and labor, 
is that, although commanded by our most gallant officers, they did not 
fire one shot in the defense of Fort Sumter during the naval attack of 
the 7th of April last, nor have they fired a shot in the defense of Mor- 
ris Island and Sumter during the present siege, which has lasted over 
four months, excepting on one occasion, the assault on Sumter during 
the night of September 8th last, when the Chicora fired a few shots on 
the enemy's boats and barges.) 

Sixth. They are very costly, warm, uncomfortable, and badly venti- 
lated, consequently sickly. 

The enemy's iron-clads being invulnerable to shots above water be- 
yond 800 yards, they should be attacked below water. The best way to 
accomplish this is by means of swift sea-going steamers, capable of trav- 
elling ten or twelve miles an hour, shot-proof above water and armed 


with Captain F. D. Lee's submarine repeating spar-torpedo, which la 
both simple and certain in its operation. Not one of his submarine 
torpedoes has yet failed to explode on striking a resisting object. The 
experiment of the David, a small cigar torpedo-boat, against the New 
Ironsides shows the effect of a 70-pound torpedo, only six feet below 
water, on the thick sides — over five feet — of that sea-monster. Since 
the attack, about one month ago, the New Ironsides has not fired one 
shot, notwithstanding the renewed bombardment of Sumter has been 
going on twenty days and nights, showing evidently that she has been 
tieriously injured. Moreover, she has left her anchorage only once for 
about half an hour, when she returned to her former position, abreast 
of Morris Island. It is stated that a proper-sized steamer, 400 or 500 
tons, built like a blockade-runner, but made shot-proof and armed with 
one of Lee's repeating submarine torpedo apparatus, could be built in 
about three months' working-time in England for the sum of about 

I venture to say that with one of those vessels here the blockade of 
Charleston could be raised in less than one week, and the army of Gill- 
more captured very shortly afterward. Half a dozen of these steamers 
would raise the blockade of our Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and enable us 
to recover the navigation of the Mississippi River. Indeed, a few years 
hence we will ask ourselves in astonishm ent how it was that with such 
a great discovery, offering such magnifice nt results, we never app lied 
i t to any useful purpose in this contest for our homes and independence. 
It is evident, according to Lord John RusselPs own views, that those 
steamers can be constructed in England as shot-proof, unarmed block- 
ade-runners without incurring the risk of being seized by the English 


G. T. Beauregard, 

General C. S, Army, 

Fort Sumter, September 21, 1863. 
Captain W. F. Nance, A. A.-G.— 

Captain: I have the honor to report that I consider this work still 
capable of offensive operations. The arches of four of the lower case- 
mates on the north-eastern face are uninjured, are partially defiladed by 
the south-eastern face, and to a great extent protected above and in the 
rear by masses of the upper arches. This face can be injured only by 
a fire from the direction of Sullivan's Island, provided sufficient protec- 
tion can be afforded from the reverse fire of the batteries on Morris Isl- 
and. I recommend that the subject receive immediate attention. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Stephen Elliott, Jr., 
Major Artillery J commanding po9t 

crivi APPENDIX. 

[This suggestion was immediately considered and ace^ted. Tbc 
commanding general ordered the chief engineer, Lieutenant-Goloael 
Harris, to fortify, arm, and protect the available casemates, under date 
of September 25, 1863.] 

The Monitor Lehigh aground, — Action with Fort ifouUrie, 

Head-quarters, Fort Moultrie, November 17, 1863. 

Lieutenant : I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 
16th, about 7.15 o'clock, a monitor was discovered to be aground opposite 
this post. Fire was immediately opened upon her with effect, many shots 
having been seen to strike. She made no reply, but began to signalize 
the fleet, when three other monitors came to her assistance, and, taking 
position about 1800- or 2000 yards distant, opened fire from rifled and 
XV-inch guns, using shot, shell, and grape. The greater portion of our 
fire was directed at the monitor aground, but, owing to her greater dis- 
tance, we were enabled to bestow some attention to each of the others. 
189 shots were fired, to which the enemy replied with 73 — 52 from their 
monitors and 21 from their land-balteries on Morris Island. Five addi- 
tional shots from land-battery were fired at this fort at 6.30 P. M. 

The guns at this post were manned by three companies of First South 
Carolina [regular] Infimtry: Company C, Captain B. J. Witherspoon 
commanding, assisted by Lieutenant Vincent F. Martin ; Company F, 
Lieutenant E. M. Whaley commanding; and Company G, Lieutenant 
J. C. Minott commanding. The guns in the battery manned by Com- 
pany F could not be brought to bear, and consequently were not engaged. 
The conduct of both officers and men under the fire was highly creditable 
to themselves and .satisfactory to mc. But for the dismounting of a 32- 
pounder rifled gun by the bursting of a XV-inch shell, and the wound- 
ing of 4 men by the explosion of another in the sally-port, this post 
would have escaped without casualty of any kind, although repeatedly 

I have the honor to add a list of wounded: Private Amos Helmes, 
Company C, lacerated wound of thigh and face, since died ; Sergeant 
T. Hamilton, Company G, contusion of face, slight; Private J. L. 
Dawson, Company G, lacerated wound of face and arm, severe; Private 
Thomas Scott, Company E, lacerated wound of face, severe. 
Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

J. Valentine, 
Oaptalrij commanding Post 

Lieutenant E. C. Edgerton, A. A, A,-G, 

[From the report of her commander, A. Bryson, it appears that tbc 
Lehigh was struck twenty-two times, nine of these being serious injuries 
of the deck-plating. 1 oflScer and 6 men were also wounded.] 


Partmdars of the Sinking of the Weehawhen at /ler Anchorage off 
Morris Island, December 6, 1863, 

About 2 p. M., a moderate gale blowing from the north-east, this ves- 
sel, after laboring for an hour or more at her anchorage, suddenly went 
down by the head, sinking in five minutes to the bottom, and showing 
about two feet of her smokestack above water : 11 officers and 50 men 
were saved; 4 officers and 26 men were lost. The court of inquiry 
found the first cause of the accident was : " The additional weight of 
the ammunition that had been lately put on board of her, leaving her 
trim so little by the stem as not to allow sufficient inclination for water 
to get to her pumps freely." It was also held by some that " the inju- 
ries the vessel had received in service, particularly while aground under 
the fire of the Sullivan's Island batteries, assisted perhaps by the strain- 
ing produced by being beached at Port Royal," had something to do 
with the disaster. — ^J. J. 


Report of Lieuienant- Colonel Elliott, comrnanding Fort Sumter, con- 
cerning the Explosion of Magazine and Fire. 

December Wh. — At 9.30 yesterday morning the south-west magazine 
exploded. Owing to the want of space, the ammunition for small-arms 
and howitzers, amounting to about 150 pounds of powder, was stored in 
the inner room. The commissary stores were kept principally in the 
outer room, which was also used as an issuing office. The materials in 
these rooms were immediately ignited, their occupants killed, and thoso 
stationed in the adjoining passages cither killed or burned with greater 
or less severity. 

The passages leading to the lower and upper tiers of casemates, and 
those casemates themselves, were filled instantly with the most dense 
smoke, introduced by a blast of great strength, whose flame was visible 
from the room occupied as head-quarters. In total darkpess the occu- 
pants rushed from the stifling smoke to the open embrasures, leaving 
their arms and blankets behind. The continuance of the smoke pre- 
vented any prolonged attempt to obstruct th« progress of the fire. 

With great promptness a boat was sent from the navy with a supply 
of water-buckets. The telegraphic apparatus was removed and located 
at another position by Mr. W. R. Cathcart, the operator, who behaved 
remarkably well ; but he was compelled to retire from this second posi- 
tion by the advance of the fire. 

The signal officers made repeated cfTorts to attract the attention of 
Sullivan's Island and Fort Johnson, but were unable to succeed until a 

cxlviil APPENDIX. 

late hour in the day. The Sullivan's Island corps could be seen operat- 
ing with other points — an inattention, when it was known that we were 
under unusual circumstances and cut off from all communication, .which 
seems to me reprehensible in the extreme, and ought, I think, to be 
looked into. 

The effect of the fire was to destroy the roof of the magazine and the 
south-west stairway, the woodwork in the two tiers of casemates, as far 
in the lower as the new sally-port. 

The damage done will not materially affect the defense of the work. 
Captain J. Johnson of the Engineers was everywhere, doing everything 
that man could do. 

Lieutenant L. A. Harper, Company F, Twenty-fifth South Carolina 
volunteers, showed great gallantry in rescuing burning bodies from the 
smoke and flames. Captain M. H. Sellers, of the same company, gave 
me great assistance in superintending the arrangement last night, at a 
time when a slight temporary injury prevented me from running about. 

Soon after the fire became apparent the enemy opened fire, throwing 
143 rifle-shots, of which 18 missed, and 77 mortar shells, of which 16 
missed. ' 

The deficiencies in men, arms, and commissary stores were most 
promptly supplied by the authorities. 

The following is a list of the casualties : 

Killed: Captain Edward D. Frost, assistant commissary of subsist- 
ence ; Sergeant Hannon, White's battalion Artillery ; Sergeant John 
King, Company E, Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers ; Thomas 
McElroy, Company E, Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers; B. 
Douglas, Company F, Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers ; Ser- 
geant Robert Swanston, Company K, First South Carolina Artillery ; 
P. Sill, Company K, First South Carolina Artillery ; A. Surten, Com- 
pany K, First South Carolina Artillery ; W. J. Lee, Company I, Nine- 
teenth Georgia ; B. Jones, Company H, Nineteenth Georgia: J. T. Ford, 
Company G, Twenty-seventh Georgia. 

Wounded: Lieutenant-Colonel Elliott, slight, in head and ankle; Cap- 
tain N. B. Mazyck, Company E, Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers; 
C. F. Vogler, Company E, Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers; J. 
Brennan, Company E, Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers; Ser- 
geant J. E. Prince, Company E, Twenty-fifth South Carolina volun- 
teers ; R. Flotwell, Company E, Twenty-fifth South Carolina volun- 
teers; T. Callahan, Company E, Twenty -fifth South Carolina volunteers; 
H. Hutson, Company E; D. H. Clayton, Company E; C. Fertig, Com- 
pany F; D. Avinger, Company F, Twenty-fifth South Carolina volun- 

Privates Edward Spigner, Company F, Twenty-fifth South Carolina 
volunteers; N. W. Shuler, Company F, Twenty-fifth South Carolina 
volunteers ; P. H. Taylor, Company F, Twenty-fifth South Carolina 


volunteers ; R. D. Zimmerman, Company F, Twenty-fifth South Caro- 
lina volunteers; W. C. Zimmerman, Company F, Twenty -fifth South 
Carolina volunteers; H. Shirer, Company F, Twenty -fifth South Caro- 
lina volunteers; B. Buhn, Company B, Nineteenth Georgia volunteers; 
N. C. Jones, Company H, Nineteenth Georgia volunteers; Eiisha 
Harris, Company E, Sixth Oeorgia volunteers ; J. B. Buckman, Com- 
pany G, Sixth Georgia volunteers; B. F. Brooks, Company G, Sixth 
Georgia volunteers; J. M. Huddleston, Company E, Nineteenth Geor- 
gia volunteers; W. Dunning, Company H, Twenty-seventh Georgia 
volunteers ; N. F. Smith, Company C, Nineteenth Georgia volunteers ; 
J. Hemphill, Company D, Twenty-seventh Georgia volunteers ; A. W. 
Wells, Company E, Sixth Georgia volunteers ; J. Hodge, Company A, 
Twenty-seventh Greorgia volunteers; J. S. Price, Company C, Sixth 
Georgia volunteers ; W. B. Chandler, Company K, Sixth Georgia vol- 
unteers ; W. B. Leatherwood, Company I, Nineteenth Georgia volun- 
teers ; H. C. Adair, Company H, Nineteenth Georgia volunteers; J. M. 
Carney, Company A, Si-xth Georgia volunteers; Sergeant James Reed 
Company K, Nineteenth Georgia volunteers ; Private W. F. Danan, Com- 
pany A, Twenty-seventh Georgia volunteers ; Sergeant J. C. Calhoun, 
Company A, Twenty-seventh Georgia volunteers; Privates L. Mash- 
burn, Company K, First South Carolina Artillery; J. Leech, Company 
K, First South Carolina Artillery ; L. W. Dantzler, Company F, Twenty- 
fifth South Carolina volunteers ; Percival Elliott, Signal Corps ; B. F. 
Watson, Company D, Sixth Georgia volunteers. 


Killed 11 

Wounded 41 

Total 52 

Report of the Sinking of the Sloop-of-war Houaatonic by a Torpedo- 


United States Steamer Canandaigua, ) 
Off Charleston, S. C, Feb. 18, 1864. I 

Sir : I have the honor to make the following report of the sinking 
of the United States steamer Housatonic by a rebel torpedo off Charles- 
ton, S. C, on the evening of 17th inst. : 

About 8.45 P. M. the oflScer of the deck, Acting Master J. K. Crosby, 
discovered something in the water about one hundred yards from, and 
moving toward, the ship. It had the appearance of a plank moving in 
the water. It came directly toward the ship, the time from when it 
was first seen till it was close alongside being about two minutes. 
During this time the chain was slipped, engine backed, and all hands 
called to quarters. The torpedo struck the ship forward of the mizzen- 


mast on the starboard side, in a line with the magazine. Having the 
after pivot-guns pivoted to port, we were unable to bring a gun to bear 
upon her. About one minute after she was close alongside the explo- 
sion took place, the ship sinking stern first, and heeling to port as she 
sank. Most of the crew saved themselves by going into the rigging, 
while a boat was despatched to the Canandaigua. This vessel came 
gallantly to our assistance, and succeeded in rescuing all but the follow- 
ing ofiScers and men — viz. : 

Ensign E. C. Hazeltine, Captain's Clerk C. O. Muzzey, Quartermaster 
John Williams, Landsman Thomas Parker, Second-class Fireman John 
Walsh. The above are missing, and are supposed to have been drowned. 

Captain Pickering was seriously bruised by the explosion, and is at 
present unable to make a report of the disaster. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Bear-Admiral John A. Dahlgren, lAeuienanL 

Oommanding S, A, B. Sguadroiu 

Confederate Attaclc on Ounboat Marhlehead in Stono River, — Report 
of Brigadier- General Henry A. Wise, C, S. Army, commanding 
Sixth Military Dudrict, 

Hd-qrs. Gth Mil. Dist., Dept. of S. C, Ga., and Fla,, ) 
December 25, 1863, 6.15 P. M. I 

General : Every preparation was duly made against Legar6villc and 
the gunboats. The batteries were completed and everything ready and 
in position by daylight, and our fire opened at the appointed time upon 
the Marblehead, about 300 yards from the wharf of the village landing. 
The enemy's force on land was about 200 — not in the village, but on a 
little island with a narrow defile leading to it. Colonel Page determined 
to attack with a field-battery and the infantry, but to do so waited for 
our siege-guns to drive the gunboat from the wharf. Slie didn't open 
for twenty minutes after our fire commenced. Our fire was kept up for 
about an hour at 1000 yards* distance without making the least impres- 
sion, or, as Colonel Page thinks, even hitting her at all. (See Union 

In the moan time, the Pawnee and a mortar-boat ran up the Kiawah 
and opened fire on flank and rear of our lower batteries, killing 1 
private, severely wounding 5 others (2 supposed mortally), and killing 
8 horses. Colonel Page instantly withdrew and fell back, the infantry 
to Roper's and the artillery to Wal pole's. 

On hearing the heavy firing this morning, I hastened in person to the 
ground, and met Colonel Page at the latter place. Learning the above 
from him, and that two howitzers (heavy) and the body of the one private 


were left on the ground, I approved of Colonel Page's resolve before I 
reached him to remain until to-morrow, and I ordered him to regain, 
if possible, to-night the guns and the dead. He has rations and forage 
until Sunday next, the 27th. . His official report will be made as soon as 
the expedition is ended. I regret its failure. 

I am, general, your obedient 8er\'ant, 

Henry A. Wise, 
Brigadier- General, commanding. 
General G. T. Beaureoabd, commanding, etc. 

Report of Colonel P. R, Page, Twenty-sixth Virginia Infantry, 

Walpole's, December 25, 1863. 
Captain: I am sorry to say to the general that the expedition has 
been a failure. We opened the attack at daylight this morning, accord- 
ing to instructions, the Marblehead alone being in Stono. The vessel 
was never touched by the artillery (?). The Pawnee and a mortar-boat 
soon came up the Kiawah, flanking our lower batteries, and we were 
compelled to withdraw, with the following casualties in the artillery, 
as reported by Colonel Del Kemper: 1 man killed and 6 severely 
wounded, and Captain B. C. Webb slightly; 8 artillery-horses killed 
and 1 ambulance-mule from the Twenty-sixth regiment. There were 
no casualties in the infantry. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

P. R. Page, 
Captain J. H. Peabce, Colonel, commanding. 

Assistant Adjutant- General, 

Extracts from Report of Lieictenaiit- Commander R, W, Meade, U, S, 
Gunboat Marblehead. 

"The enemy on John's Island opened fire on us at six o'clock this 
morning from two butteries of field and siege artillery, posted advan- 
tageously in the woods Wc replied vigorously to the enemy, and 

slipping the cable, took a position nearer their guns; on which, after 
a sharp contest of an hour, the enemy retired in disorder, leaving guns 

and caissons behind them The enemy's fire was very effective, 

and the vessel is badly cut up aloft (losing maintopmast; .... her fore- 
mast i8 wounded). She has twelve shots in the hull (one between wind 

and water) ; eighteen shots struck in the upper works and aloft 

The vessel has lost 3 men killed and 4 wounded The Pawnee, 

which when the action commenced was at anchor in the inlet, took an 
enfilading position on the Kiawah River, and by her fire contributed 
greatly in demoralizing the enemy and forcing him to retreat. The 
aortar-schooner C. P. Williams also camo up and joined in the action." 


Commander George B. Batch, of the Pavmee, says : " The enemy's fire 
did not cease or diminish until the Pawnee and the C. P. Williams got 
into position ; and to the combined effort of the three vessels engaged 
an undoubted claim may be laid as highly creditable to the navy." 


Opinion of Commodore John Rodgers upon the Defenses of Charles- 
ton Harbor, given before a Committee of the United States Senate, 
February 8, I864. 

''Ordinarily and popularly, to take a place means to take its defenses. 
General Gillmore was forty-eight days on Morris Island, acting against 
Fort Wagner, with some 10,000 or 12,000 men against a garrison of 
about 1500, more or less, assisted by the monitors and by artillery which 
excited the wonder of Europe. After forty (fifty)- eight days he took the 
place, not by his artillery nor by his monitors, but by m^ing military 
approaches and threatening to cut off their means of escape and take 
the place by assault ; and when he took it, it was not so greatly dam- 
aged as to be untenable. Now, if General Gillmore, on the same island, 
assisted by his artillery and the whole force of monitors, in forty ( fifty )- 
eight days, could not capture Fort Wagner alone by them, it is per- 
fectly certain that the monitors alone can never take the much stronger 
defenses which line James Island and Sullivan's Island. In going up 
to Charleston, therefore, he would have to run by the defenses, and leave 
the harbor, so far as they constitute the' command of it, in the power of 
the enemy ; and when he got up to the city he could not spare a single 
man from his monitors, even if they should consent to receive him ; and 
if he burned the town, he would burn it over the heads of non-combat- 
ant women and children while the men who defend it are away in the 
forts. I should be reluctant to burn a house over a woman's and child's 
head because her husband defied me. Dahlgren, if he burns Charleston, 
will be called a savage by all Europe, and after the heat of combat is 
over he will be called a savage by our own people. But there are ob- 
structions in the way which render it doubtful whether he can get there. 
And if he goes up under the guns of those fortifications, sticks upon the 
obstructions, and is finally driven off by any cause, leaving one or two 
of his monitors there within their power, they will get them off, repair 
them, and send them out to what part of the coast they please, and give 
a new character to the war. The wooden blockade will be mainly at an 
end, unlimited cotton going out and unlimited supplies coming in. I 
see no good to compensate for that risk, except it be in satisfying the 
oational mind that retributive justice has been done against the city of 


Charleston, the nursery of the rebellion In a word, I do not think 

the game is worth the candle. Whether these reasons operate with him, 
I do not know ; they would with me." 

Operations on James Island — Assault on Fort Johnson, July 3, 
1864 — Bombardment oj Battery Pringle and the Lines, July 8th 
and 9th. 

Hd-qrs. Dept. South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, ) 
Charleston, July 4, 1864. J 

To General S. Cooper, Adjutant- and Inspector- General : 

On the morning of the 2d instant the enemy landed several regiments 
on the south side of James Island, supported by two monitors and sev- 
eral gunboats in the Stono, and after a sharp skirmish captured two 
pieces of field artillery and commenced intrenching. At the same time 
several gunboats and transports with troops came up the North Edisto. 

At early dawn yesterday from 700 to 1000 men in barges attacked Fort 
Johnson, and were handsomely and thoroughly repulsed, with the loss to 
the enemy of 140 prisoners with their arms and accoutrements, and five 
barges, and many killed and wounded. Our loss very slight. 

The enemy on the south end of James Island fell back hastily yester- 
day before our men, leaving their dead unburied, and our picket-line is 
re-established; but the monitors and gunboats are still in the Stono, 
firing heavily on our lines, and another transport has just come up with 
troops. The party from North Edisto landed at White Point and ad- 
vanced, but were met and driven back. So far, the enemy has been 
repulsed at all points, with a loss of about 600 men, but the position 
and movements of the enemy on James and John's Islands and adjacent 
river threaten most serious danger to this city. I am in extreme need 
of reinforcements — have not yet any of the South Carolina reserves. 
My men are greatly exhausted, and under the incessant fire of the moni- 
tors and gunboats two-thirds of them will soon be unfit for duty. Some 
assistance should be speedily sent me. Please lay this before the Pres- 
ident Sam Jones, 

Major- General. 

Extract from the Report of Brigadier- General W. B, Taliaferro, 
commanding Seventh Military District of South Carolina, 

"On the morning of the 3d, at daylight, two columns of barges were 
observed rapidly approaching the Shell Point beach, upon which the 
several batteries known as *Simkins' are situated, and which is imme- 
diately connected with the important post and harbor defense of Fort 
Johnson. One column landed its men near the end of this point, and 


the other and larger between Battery Simkins and Fort Johnson, which 
post was, simultaneously with Shell Point, fiercely assaulted. The gal- 
lant garrison, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel J. A. Yates, 
received them with heroic determination, and the efficient and rapid 
discharges of heavy and light guns and the unerring fire of our mus- 
ketry soon staggered and drove them back, when, with a rapid charge 
upon the enemy, headed by Lieutenants Thomas Davis \Vaties and 
James C. Keynolds of the artillery, 140 prisoners, including 5 commis- 
sioned officers, we^:c taken before they could make good their escape. 

"The participants in this brilliant affair were Company G, First 
South Carolina Artillery, Lieutenant Waties; Company K, Captain 
Alfred S. Gaillard ; detachment Company E, Lieutenant R. L. Cooper, 
and detachments Companies A and E, Second South Carolina Artillery, 
Lieutenants M. P. Halsey and G. F. Ruworth. These officers and Cor- 
poral Daniel D. Crawford, Company G, are spoken of in high terms of 
praise by Lieutenant-Colonel Yates for gallantry displayed on the occa- 
sion. Five barges fell into our hands, and it is certain that the ene- 
my's loss in killed and wounded was heavy. 

''At the Stono batteries (Pringle and Tyncs, on the 8th and 9th July) 
the officers and men behaved with gallantry under fire and deserve espe- 
cial mention. The officers are Major J. J. Lucas, commanding, and 
Major 0. Blanding, First South Carolina Artillery; Captains Theo. B. 
Hayne and Guignard Richardson, Lucas's battalion ; Lieutenants Julius 
M. Rhctt, McMillan King, and H. M. Stuart, First South Carolina Ar- 
tillery ; and Lieutenanta W. G. Ogier, W. D. Martin, W. W. Reverly, 
Thomas E. I^ucas, and J. D. Ford of Lucas's battalion. Lieutenant 
Ogier is particularly mentioned for his gallantry. 

** The batteries at Fort Lamar (Secessionville), under Lieutenant-Col- 
onel J. Welsman Brown, and those on the southern lines, under Captain 
T. K. Legard, did good service during the continuance of these opera- 
tions, as did the light batteries under the command of Captain John 
F. Wheaton of the Chatham Artillery." .... 

Wm. B. Taliaferro, 
Brigadier- Qeneralf commanding. 

General Orders ) HEAD-QUARTERS Dept. OF THE South, ) 

iVo. 153. J Hilton Head, S. C, Nov. 7, 1864. J 

The following summary of evidence relative to the attack on Forts 
Johnson and Simkins in July last is published for the information of 
the command. Its publication has been delayed by the illness and pro- 
longed absence of Brigadier-General Schimmelfennig, who was originally 
charged with the investigation : 

At 2 A. M. July 3, 1864, the Fifty-second Pennsylvania volunteer 
Infantry, Colonel H. M. Hoyt, and the One-Hundred-and-Twenty- 


seventh New York volunteer Infantry, Major E. II. Little, with 60 
men of the Third Rhode Island Artillery, left Paiue's Dock, Morris 
Island, in boats and under orders to take Forts Johnson and Simkins. 
They were to cross Charleston harbor till opposite the beach between 
the forts, then move by the left flank, pull vigorously to land, and assault 
with the bayonet. Clear and precise instructions were given to all con- 
cerned. The only signal of retreat was to bo sounded on a bugle in pos- 
session of Colonel Hoyt. 

The pilot failed to find the passage through the bar near Fort John- 
son, but a narrow channel was at last discovered near shore. Through 
this many of the boats had passed, when, day breaking, the enemy 
opened a heavy fire, which was, however, almost entirely harmless, 
passing far overhead. 

The boats commanded by Colonel Hoyt, Lieutenant-Colonel Conyng- 
liam, Captain Camp, and Lieutenants Stevens and Evans, all of tho 
Fifty-second Pennsylvania, rowed rapidly to the shore, and these 
officers, with Adjutant Bunyan (afterward killed) and 135 men, landed 
and drove the enemy, but, deserted by their comrades, were obliged to 
surrender to superior numbers. 

Cblonel Hoyt bestows unqualified praise on the oflBcers and men who 
landed with him; of them 7 were killed and 16 wounded. Colonel 
"oyt himself deserves great credit for his energy in urging the boats 
ftrward and bringing them through the narrow channel; and the feel- 
^^S ^hich led him to land at the head of his men was the prompting 
wa gallant spirit which deserved to find more imitators. 

^^ the time of Colonel Hoyt's landing great confusion existed in the 
^ond and third divisions of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania regiment, 
^^ ^ retreat commenced ; it is impossible to discover which boats first 
^ ^fr the disgraceful movement, the occupants of each declaring that 
i.,?*^ were retreating before they themselves . turned. These divisions 
II ^'^S back in confusion, the One-Hundred-nnd-Twenty -seventh shared 
J^ Soueral movement, and the whole expedition returned to Paine's 

^'Olojjel William Qurney, One-Hundred-and-T wen ty -seventh New 

^^'fc regiment, commanding Morris Island, who was charged with 

^^^ing the expedition, did not accompany it, but remained at Paine's 

Oct. There seems no suflScient reason for this conduct. The presence 

^ '^ Commanding oflScer when the landing was effected would have been 

the greatest service in preventing the retreat. 

■The chief cause of failure was the lack of spirit, energy, and power 
^ conimand on the part of subordinate officers. In such an expedition 
^ Commanders of boats exercise, in a great measure, an independent 

thority, while at tho same time they are able to hold the men com- 
P ^tely under their control. It is on them the main responsibility must 
^t, siQ(i| j^ ^g plain that many of them were totally unequal to the occa- 


flion The One-Hundred-and-Twenty-seventh New York raiment 

showed more coolness and better discipline; still, they not only re- 
treated without proper orders, but are gravely in fault for not obeying 
the peremptory orders of their commanding officer, Major Little (who 
seems to have done everything that could be done), to land at once. 
From thi.*< censure must be excepted Captain Henry and Lieutenants 
Little and Abercrombie, who brought their boats to shore and landed. 
Captain Weston, too, deserves favorable mention. The officers and men 
of the Third Rhode Island Artillery appear to have behaved well. 

The expedition was well planned, and would have succeeded had it 
not been for the absence of the commanding officer and the want of 
spirit and energy on the part of many of his subordinates. 

The major-general commanding regrets that he has felt it his duty to 
make known the results of investigation into an affair which reflects so 
little credit on most of those concerned. He has reason to hope that 
many are heartily ashamed of their conduct., and he trusts it will be a 
lesson to the whole command, and especially to officers of all grades, 
how indispensable to the success of the most promising plan is the 
possession of determination and soldierly spirit by those who are to 
execute it. 

By command of Major-General J. G. Foster. 

[Official.] W. L. M. Burger, 

Assistant Adjutant- Qeneral, 

Operations on John's Island, — Extracts from Report of Major John 
JenkinSy Third South Carolina Cavalry, — Figid at Gervais's Field, 
John's Island, July 7, 1864. — Assault of Etiemy's Lines by Georgia 
Brigade, July 9, 1864, 

*' The enemy for the first time brought forward artillery, and a sharp 
engagement ensued between their and our artillery, the two guns of the 
Marion (Artillery), under Lieutenant Robert Murdoch, two howitzers of 
Charles's battery, under command of Lieutenant T. B. Logan, making 
excellent practice, all under the supervision of Captain E. L. Parker 
of the Marion Artillery. 

"At 11 A. M. the firing had ceased, and everything being quiet, at 3 
p. M. I left for Charleston to see Major-General Jones, who had been 
endeavoring unsuccessfully to communicate with me by signals. 

" During my absence the enemy attacked and succeeded in turning our 
extreme right by a flank movement, but the cavalry, dismounted, under 
command of Captain T. H. Clark, Second South Carolina regiment, 
made a moat determined and dcvsperate resistance, his company of 21 
men present losing 13 — 1 killed and 6 wounded. He was ably seconded 


by Captain A. H. Dean of same regiment, who with thirteen men charged 
the enemy on their lefl flank, throwing them into confusion. A gun of 
the Marion Artillery, judiciously posted, rendered much assistance in 
repelling the enemy or holding him in check until our right was rein- 
forced by companies from the First and Thirty-second Georgia regi- 
ments, drawn from a position of our line which was not engaged, and 
led to the assistance of Major Wayne, commanding in my absence, who 
displayed alike correct judgment and cool courage and skill in handling 
hiB troops, and handsomely repulsed the enemy with loss in repeated 
assaults upon our line. One of the Parrott guns of the Washington 
Artillery, Lieutenant S. G. Horsey commanding, was particularly effect- 
ive, being advanced in front of our line and enfilading the assaulting- 
party of the enemy. 

" On the 8th, Brigadier-General Robertson arrived and took command. 
Reinforcements came up. He determined to attack the enemy and drive 
him from the island. At two o'clock on the morning of the 9th, I was 
ordered by General Robertson to direct Colonel George P. Harrison, Jr., 
of the Thirty-second Georgia, to advance upon the enemy and carry his 
lines unless he encountered too severe a fire of artillery, in which event 
he was to withdraw and not sacrifice his men. I was ordered by the 
general to take command of the second or supporting line, consisting 
of three companies of the Thirty-second Georgia regiment, First regi- 
ment Georgia regulars, Major Wayne, and detachment from Fourth Geor- 
gia Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel John L. Harris, to act as circumstances 
might require. Colonel Harrison at 3.30 a. m. moved forward his line 
of battle, formed parallel with the enemy's breastworks. His attacking 
force consisted of seven companies of his own regiment, which formed 
his right wing, and Bonaud's battalion and the Forty-seventh Georgia 
regiment, Colonel A. C. Edwards, which formed his left wing. His line 
of battle extended about 400 yards in length, preceded by a line of 
skirmishers of double that front and 300 yards in advance. The Stono 
River road, with hedges on both sides of it, cut his line of battle in two. 
.... Colonel Harrison then ordered the charge, and his line moved 
steadily and sternly across the field, met and drove in the enemy's skir- 
mishers, and advanced upon their breastworks 

" In the mistiness of the morning, the smoke resting upon the ground, 
I was unable to see his troops, and, supposing from the continuance of 
the rapid fire on both sides that Colonel Harrison had encountered too 
heavy a force, I ordered the advance of the entire reserve to his support. 
.... But while our line advanced steadily and rapidly under a severe 
fire, which it had to endure with loss without returning, before we 
reached Colonel Harrison that gallant officer and the splendid troops 
under him, bravely led by their officers, had swept the enemy's lines, 
and his skirmishers had pushed beyond 

" At night the enemy quietly withdrew to the protection of their gun- 



clviii APPENDIX. 

boats, and next day embarked their forces, burning their commissary 
stores ashore. John Jenkins, Major Cavalry" 


Fort Sumter, July 7, 1864, 4 p. m. 
Captain W. F. Nance, A. A.- General: 

The enemy continue a heavy fire on us. Their evident intention is 
to destroy our boom and our defenses against assault, as also to break 
through the gorge-wall. In the first part of their plan they have to 
some extent succeeded. The fire is quite as damaging as any bombard- 
ment since the year commenced. We have no labor to repair. Can't 
you send me fifty more men? John C. Mitchel, 

Captain, commanding. 


Head-quarters First IVIilitaiiy District,) 
Charleston, July 7, 1864. ) 

Respectfully forwarded for information of department. I have re- 
plied to Captain IVIitchel that I have no force of laborers or soldiers 
to send him. R. S. Ripley, 

Brigadier- General, commanding. 


Head-quarters First Military District, I 
Charleston, S. C, July 20, 1864. J 
Captain : Huguenin will be over as soon as he can cross with safety. 
Keep the garrison in good spirits. There is no danger yet, if all do 
their duty as you and Mitchel have done. Huguenin will be equal to 
the emergency. Show this to Huguenin, and tell him to report his 
arrival by telegraph. Give him all the necessary information when 
he arrives. 

Your obedient servant, 

Wm. F. Nance, A. A.-G. 
Captain John Johnson, 

Engineer, Fort Sumter. 


Charleston, S. C, Dec. 81, 1864. 
Lieutenant-General W. J. Hardee .• 

Commanding Depart South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida : 
General: .... You will apply to the defense of Charleston the 


same principle applied to that of Savannah ; that is, defend it as long 
as compatible with the safety of your forces. Having no reason at 
present to expect succor from an army of relief, you must save your 
troops for the defense of South Carolina and Georgia. 

The fall of Charleston would, necessarily, be a terrible blow to the 
Confederacy; but its fall with the loss of its brave garrison would 
be still more fatal to our cause. G. T. Beauregard, 


[From the Southern Historical Society Papers.] 

Reminiseences of Torpedo Service in Charleston Harbor ^ by W, T, 
Glassely Commander of Confederate States Navy, 

.... On the occasion of the attack upon the blockading squadron 
(making the attack at night), if I could have had any influence we 
should not have fired a gun, but trusted to the effect of iron rams at 
full speed. It was thought, though, by older and perhaps wiser officers 
that this would have been at the risk of sinking our iron-clads together 
with the vessels of the enemy. I have ever believed there was no such 
danger to be apprehended ; and if there was, we had better have encoun- 
tered it than to have made the fruitless attempt which we did, only 
frightening the enemy and putting them on their guard for the future. 

It was my part, on that memorable morning, to aim and fire one 
effective shell into the Keystone State while running down to attack 
us, which (according to Captain LeRoy's report), killing 21 men and 
severely wounding 15, caused him to haul down his flag in token of 

The enemy now kept at a respectful distance while preparing their 
iron-clad vessels to sail up more closely. Our Navy Department con- 
tinued slowly to construct more of these rams, all on the same general 
plan, fit for little else than harbor defense. The resources of the United 
States being such that they could build ten iron-clads to our one, and 
of a superior class, almost invulnerable to shot or shell, I had but little 
faith in the measures we were taking for defense. 

Captain F. D. Lee, of the Engineers, was employed constructing tor- 
pedoes to be placed in the harbor, and called my attention to the sub- 
ject. It appeared to me that this might be made an effective weapon to 
iise offensively against the powerful vessels now being built. An old 
hulk was secured, and Captain Lee made the first experiment as follows: 
A torpedo made of copper and containing thirty or forty pounds of gun- 
powder, having a sensitive fuze, was attached by means of a socket to a 
^ODg pine pole. To this weights were attached, and it was suspended 
liorizontally beneath a rowboat by cords from the bow and stern — the 
torpedo projecting eight or ten feet ahead of the boat and six or seven 


feet below the surface. The boat was then drawn toward the hulk till 
the torpedo came in contact with it and exploded. The result was the 
immediate destruction of the old vessel and no damage to the Ixrnt. 

I was now convinced that powerful engines of war could be brought 
into play against iron-clad ships. I believed it should be our policy to 
take immediate steps for the construction of a large number of small 
boats suitable for torpedo service, and make simultaneous attacks, if 
possible, before the enemy should know what we were about. 

.... I got rowboats from my friend, Mr. George A. Trenholm, and 
at his expense equipped them with torpedoes for a practical experiment 
against the blockading-vessels at anchor off the bar. 

.... I was allowed, some time after this, to go out alone with one 
of these boats and a crew of six men, to attack the United Sttites ship 
Powhatan with a fifty-pound torpedo of rifle- powder attached to the 
end of a long pole, suspended by wires from the bow and stern beneath 
the keel of the boat, and projecting eight or ten feet ahead and seven 
feet below the surface. 

I started out with ebb-tide in search of a victim. I approached the 
ship about one o'clock. The young moon had gone down, and every 
thing seemed favorable, the stars shining over head and sea smooth and 
calm. The bow of the ship was toward us and the ebb-tide still running 
out. I did not expect to reach the vessel without being discovered, but 
my attention was, no matter what they might say or do, not to be stopped 
until our torpedo came in contact with the ship. My men were instructed 
accordingly. I did hope the enemy would not be alarmed by the ap- 
proach of such a small boat so far out at sea, and that we should be 
ordered to come alongside. In this I was disappointed. When they 
discovered us, two or three hundred yards distant from the port bow, we 
were hailed and immediately ordered to stop and not come nearer. To 
their question, "What boat is that?" and numerous others I gave evasive 
and stupid answers, and, notwithstanding repeated orders to stop and 
threats to fire on us, I told them I was coming on board as fast as I 
could, and whispered to my men to pull with all their might. I trusted 
they would be too merciful to fire on such a stupid set of idiots as they 
must have taken us to be. 

My men did pull splendidly, and I was aiming to strike the enemy on 
the port side, just below the gangway. They continued to threaten and 
to order us to lay in our oars, but I had no idea of doing so, as we were 
now within forty feet of the intended victim. I felt confident of suc- 
cess, when one of my trusted men, from terror or treason, suddenly 
backed his oar and stopped the boat's headway. This caused the 
others to give up apparently in despair. In this condition we drifted 
with the tide pjist the ship's stern, while the officer of the deck, con- 
tinuing to ply me with embarrassing questions, gave order to lower a 
ship's boat to go for us, 


The man who backed his oar bad now thrown his pistol overboard, 
and reached to get that of the man next to him for the same pur- 
pose. A number of men by this time were on deck with rifles in 
hand. The torpedo was now an incumbrance to retard the movements 
of my boat. 

I never was rash or disposed to risk my life or that of others without 
large compensation from the enemy. But to surrender thus would not 
do. Resolving not to be taken alive till somebody at least should be 
hurt, I drew a revolver and whispered to the men at bow and stern to 
cut loose the torpedo. 

This being quickly done, they were directed quietly to get the oars in 
position and pull away with all their strength. They did so. I expected 
a parting volley from the deck of the ship, and, judging from the speed 
with which the little boat travelled, you would have thought we were 
trying to outrun the bullets which might follow us. No shot was fired. 
I am not certain whether their boat pursued us or not. We were soon 
out of sight and beyond their reach, and I suppose the captain and 
oflScers of the Powhatan never have known how near they came to 
having the honor of being the first ship ever blown up by a torpedo- 

I do not think this failure was from any fault or want of proper pre- 
caution of mine. The man who backed his oar and stopped the boat at 
the critical moment declared afterward that he had been terrified so that 
he knew not what he was doing. He seemed to be ashamed of his con- 
duct, and wished to go with me into any danger. His name was Jiimes 
Murphy, and he afterward deserted to the enemy by swimming off to a 
vessel at anchor in the Edisto River. 

I think the enemy must have received some hint from spies, creating 
a suspicion of torpedoes, before I made this attempt. I got back to 
Charleston after daylight next morning, with only the loss of one tor- 
pedo, and convinced that steam was the only reliable motive-power. 

Commodore Tucker having been ordered to command the naval forces 
at Charleston, torpedoes were fitted to the bows of iron-clad rams for 
use should the monitors enter the harbor. 

My esteemed friend, Mr. Theodore Stoney of Charleston, took measures 
for the construction of the little cigar-boat David at private expense ; 
and about this time I was ordered off to Wilmington as an executive 
officer to attend to the equipment of the iron-clad North Carolina. She 
drew so much water it would have been impossible to get her over the 
bar, and consequently was only fit for harbor defense. 

In the mean time, the United States fleet, monitors and Ironsides, 
crossed the bar at Charleston and took their comfortable positions pro- 
tecting the army on Morris Island and occasionally bombarding Fort 

.... I had everything ready for the experiment, and only waited for 

clxii APPENDIX. 

a suitable night, when orders came requiring me to take all the men from 
the North Carolina by railroad to Charleston immediately. An attack 
on that city was expected. I lost no time in obeying the order, and 
was informed, on arriving there, that " my men were required to rein- 
force the crews of the gunboats, but there was nothing in particular for 
me to do." In a few days, however, Mr. Theodore Stoney informed me 
that the little dgar-boat built at his expense had been brought down by 
railroad, and that if I could do anything with her he would place her 
at my disposal. On examination I determined to make a trial. She 
was yet in an unfinished state. Assistant Engineer J. H. Toombs vol- 
unteered his services, and all necessary machinery was soon fitted and 
got into working order, while Captain F. D. Lee gave me his zealous 
aid in fitting on a torpedo. James Stuart (alias Sullivan) volunteered 
to go as fireman, and afterward the services of J. W. Cannon as pilot 
were secured. The boat wa^ ballasted so as to float deeply in the water, 
and all above painted the most invisible color (bluish). The torpedo 
was made of copper, containing about one hundred pounds of rifle pow- 
der, and provided with four sensitive tubes of lead containing explosive 
mixture ; and this was carried by means of a hollow iron shaft project^ 
ing about fourteen feet ahead of the boat and six or seven feet below the 
surface. I had also an armament on deck of four double-barrel shot- 
guns and as many navy revolvers; also, four cork life-preservers had 
been thrown on board, and made us feel safe. 

Having tried the speed of my boat and found it satisfactory (six or 
seven knots an hour), I got a necessary order from Commodore Tucker 
to attack the enemy at discretion, and also one from General Beaure- 
gard. And now came an order from Richmond that I should proceed 
immediately back to rejoin the North Carolina at Wilmington. This 
was too much I I never obeyed that order, but left Commodore Tucker 
to make my excuses to the Navy Department 

The 6th of October, 1863, a little after dark, we left Charleston wharf 
and proceeded with the ebb-tide down the harbor. 

A light north wind was blowing and the night was slightly hazy, but 
starlight, and the water was smooth. I desired to make the attack about 
the turn of the tide, and this ought to have been just after nine o'clock, 
but the north wind made it run out a little longer. 

We passed Fort Sumter and beyond the line of picket-boats without 
being discovered. Silently steaming along just inside the bar, I had a 
good opportunity to reconnoitre the whole fleet of the enemy at anchor 
between me and the camp-fires on Morris Island. ^' 

i'' Perhaps I was mistaken, but it did occur to me that if we had then,! 
instead of only one, just ten or twelve torpedoes to make a simultaneous^^ 
attack on all the iron-clads, and this quickly followed by the egress of » 
our rams, not only might this grand fleet have been destroyed, but the 
10,000 troops on Morris Island been left at our mercy. Quietly manoBUT-~ 


ring and observing the enemy, I was half an hour more waiting on time 
and tide. The music of drum and fife had just ceased, and the nine 
o'clock gun had been fired from the admiral's ship as a signal for all 
unnecessary lights to be extinguished and for the men not on watch to 
retire for sleep. I thought the proper time for attack had arrived. 

The admiral's ship. New Ironsides (the most powerful vessel in the 
world), lay in the midst of the fleet, her starboard side presented to my 
view. I determined to pay her the highest compliment. I had been 
informed, through prisoners lately captured from the fleet, that they 
were expecting an attack from torpedo-boats, and were prepared for it. 
I could therefore hardly expect to accomplish my object without encoun- 
tering some danger from riflemen, and perhaps a discharge of grape or 
canister from the howitzers. My guns were loaded with buckshot. I 
knew that if the officer of the deck could be disabled to begin with, it 
would cause them some confusion and increase our chance for escape ; 
80 I determined that if the occasion oflered I would commence by firing 
the first shot. Accordingly, having on a full head of steam, I took 
charge of the helm, it being so arranged that I could sit on deck and 
work the wheel with my feet. Then, directing the engineer and firemen 
to keep below and give me all the speed possible, I gave a double-barrel 
gun to the pilot, with instructions not to fire until I should do so, and 
steered directly for the monitor. I intended to strike her just under the 
gangway, but the tide, still running out, carried us to a point nearer the 
quarter. Thus we rapidly approached the enemy. When within about 
300 yards of her a sentinel hailed us : " Boat ahoy I boat ahoy I" repeat- 
ing the hail several times very rapidly. We were coming toward them 
with all speed, and I made no answer, but cocked both barrels of my 
gun. The officer of the deck next made his appearance, and loudly 
demanded, " What boat is that?" Being now within forty yards of the 
ship and plenty of headway to carry us on, I thought it about time the 
fight should commence, and fired my gun. The officer of the deck fell 
back mortally wounded (poor fellow !), and I ordered the engine stopped. 
The next moment the torpedo struck the vessel and exploded. What 
amount of direct damage the enemy received I will not attempt to say. 
My little boat plunged violently, and a large body of water which had 
been thrown up descended upon her deck and down the smokestack and 

I immediately gave orders to reverse the engine and back off. Mr. 
Toombs informed me then that the fires were put out and something 
bad become jammed in the machinery so that it would not move. What 
could be done in this situation ? In the mean time, the enemy,